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Ice Princess-Chapter 1

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"Hey guys, hurry up! You're gonna miss the figure skating competition!" Raye bellowed to her friends in the kitchen who were busy preparing snacks for the group assembled. Lita sighed and yelled back,

"Well Raye, if you would only help us instead of snuggling with Jason, we could get this done in no time!" Raye mumbled to herself and got up and went to help. Her boyfriend Jason just laughed. He was bloned with blue eyes that sparked with mischief. Just then a pillow hit him from behind,

"I wouldn't laugh too loud, Jason," said the man with red hair and blue eyes,

"You know how Raye gets when you rile her up and I for one plan on enjoying the evening, not watching you two bicker all night."

"Chill out Nick, Raye is in a good mood tonight. And thanks for the pillow!" Just then Raye, Lita, Amy and Mina all walked back into the room bearing food and drinks for their boyfriends and their one lone friend, Darien. The group of nine were the best of friends. They were practically in separable and had been that way for years. But not only were they friends, they were also the protectors of the universe. The girls were known as the Sailor Scouts. Raye was the powerful Sailor Mars, Lita was the mighty Sailor Jupiter, Amy was the intelligent Sailor Mercury and Mina was the breathtaking Sailor Venus. The Scouts were sworn to protect the Princess of the Moon, Serenity. The only problem was that Serenity hadn't been discovered by them yet. They were still searching for their Princess.

Darien, who was Tuxedo Mask, was also Prince Endymion of Earth. He was Serenity's long lost love. He too was searching for his lost Princess. His Generals as they called themselves, were the Scouts' significant others. There was Marcus/Malachite, who was the leader of Darien's Generals. He was a quiet man with long white hair and piercing ice blue eyes. He was tall and lean with a stance that eminated his power and strength. Marcus was known to send people running for cover with just a look. His partner was Mina/Venus and it is believed that the lovely Venus melted the ice surrounding his heart. Next came Nicholas/Nephlyte who believed that the stars led the way in life. Nicholas was tall like Marcus, but he was muscular with wide shoulders, long red hair and intense blue eyes. His girlfriend was Lita and together they made a deadly team. There was also Jason/Jedite who was always creating more mischief than getting any work done. Raye was his overseer in many respects. She was constantly bailing him out of trouble. Finally there was Zachary who was always leaping before he looked. His long blonde hair and emerald eyes were always causing a stir among the ladies, but Amy held his only interest.

So as the group settled in to watch the Women's Figure Skating competition at the Olympics, the program got under way. It was the long program tonight and only the top eight were skating. It was obvious when the girls ranked sixth through eighth skated, why they were ranked were they were. The competition wore on and finally it was down to the American skater, Serena Thompson and some Russian that no one ever heard of. Before Serena's skate, the program did showed an interview that was taped earlier. In the interview, Serena talked about her long program and why she chose what she did. As the interview began, the others began talking amongst themselves, with only Amy paying attention to what was being said on the t.v. There was something familiar about the girl that held Amy's attention. Just then, the announcer mentioned Serena's passion for mythology led her to her idea for her long program.

"Shhhh, you guys, listen to this!" she said, getting up to turn up the t.v. Everyone sat in silence as they finally gazed on the blonde beauty on the screen.

"Serena," the annoucer said, "we hear a rumor that your long program is based on a mytholigical story."

"Yes, Scott, that's correct. You see there is this myth about a Kingdom on the Moon."

"What did she just say?!" Raye gasped.

"Shut up, will you!" Lita hissed.

"In this kingdom lived a beautiful princess named Serenity and she was in love with the Prince of the Earth, Endymion. Well Endymion was killed in the final battle for the Moon Kindom when it was invaded and his beloved princess witnessed his death. She was so grief stricken that she took his sword and killed herself with it."

More gasps from around the room as the announcer says, "Wow, that sounds like Romeo & Juliet."

"Yes, that's true." Serena said laughing, "The difference is that the princess's mother could not accept her daughter's death so she used her powerful magic to send the prince and princess and all of their friends into the future to live again. The romance of it all is that the prince and princess's love is so strong that it will eventually bring them together again. So when I heard Celine Dion's 'My Heart Will Go On', it just seemed perfect to tell the story of the princess's love for her prince."

"That sounds really terrific Serena and we can't wait to see you perform it. Good Luck!"

"Thanks, Scott!"

Just then everyone started talking at once. "There's no way!" "It's gotta be a coincidence!" Just then the t.v. went back to the competition when Serena Thompson took the ice for her performance. Her appearance caused everyone to gasp! Serena came out in a white dress that was molded to her upper body and outlined in gold and then flared to just above her knees. The most surprising thing was her hair. It was done in two ponytails on eith side of her head with two balls at the top of her head where the pigtails started. Then the music started and she began to tell her tale.

Her performance was flawless as she skated around the ice moving gracefully and serenely. It soon became apparent that she was crying by the time her performance was over. As she came to a finish, the entire audience was utterly quiet, almost afraid to disrupt the moment that she created and then they broke out in wiild applause throwing flowers on the ice. Serena wiped the tears from her face as she took her bow and waved to the crowd as she skated off. She made her way off the ice and over to the scoring bench to await her scores. Everyone watched and studied the girl and the camera focused in on her as she tried to calm down. Then her scores were announced and she began to cry again. Perfect 6.0s across the board!

"Ladies and Gentlemen, a perfect score! Serena Thompson has won the gold medal!" the announcer yelled into his microphone.

Everyone at Lita's watched as the blonde girl stood at the top of the podium and received her medal. Then they turned off the t.v. and sat speechless as they stared at each other. Finally Amy broke the silence and said,

"Are you all thinking what I'm thinking?"

"What, that we've found the princess?" Marcus said. Amy nodded her head. Marcus sighed and said,

"I don't know, but the similarities are just too damn coincidental for me." Everyone nodded their agreement. Then Amy looked at Darien and asked,

"Darien, is she our princess?" He took a moment before answering and said,

"I'm not sure. But I think that I'd like to talk to her." Everyone seemed to be in agreement, so they spent the rest of the evening discussing how they could find out more about her and how they could get in touch with her.

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Serena sat in her hotel room that night and stared at her medal. *I can't believe that I won! My prince must have been watching.* she thought to herself. Yes, it was true that she choreographed her long program to tell the story of that undying love, what no one knew however was the she was Sailor Moon and that she was the princess in the story. She had known that she was Sailor Moon for years now. She discovered that she was SM about eight years ago when she was fourteen when Luna, her cat had found her, quite by accident and realized who she was. Over the years, she develped SM. As she matured so did SM becoming more powerful with each passing year until she made her who she was today. In addition to her endless hours of skating, Serena also took martial arts classes to help her in her battles as SM. The Silver Imperium Crystal however, was the source of all her power. She use to wear the crystal on a broach and when she needed to be SM she would use it to transform. Today, the broach was gone and she now wore the crystal around her neck set in a round setting that shown like a flat cut diamond. The gold chain that the crystal rested on would lengthen and shorten based on whatever she wanted. Now when she wanted to transform she merely had to call out "Moon Crystal Power!" Then in a swirl of black ribbons, (she changed her transformation and sailor fuku when she was 18 deciding that it was time to grow up) she became Sailor Moon. Her sailor fuku was now white with a black skirt, collar, and bows. Her boots were black with white around the tops and her gloves were white with black around the elbows. As a child and teenager, she wore her hair as she did when she skated the other night, but decided that it too was too juvenille for her. Therefore, her 'meatball' do was gone, so were the red orbs that use to sit on each ball. Now her hair fell straight down her back and only her tiara shown at her forehead. But instead of the red stone that use to be there, the crystal now shone brightly in its place. The other changes that SM made were to her arsonal of powers. First, she decided to get rid of her scepter and instead she created a glaive for herself. The glaive was taller than her and had a razor sharp rounded edge that completed the cresent moon shape. .

Serena fought off many youma over the years as SM. What she always found amusing was a comic book called Sailor V who was a lot like her. She even had a fuku. Many times Serena had wondered whether or not Sailor V really existed or if she was just a figment of someone's imagination. She knew that during the Silver Millenium that she had protectors. They were the princesses from Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter. Somehow, she knew that they were out there now too, just like her prince was. The question was, where? She had read about the Sailor Scouts being the female warriors of Japan, but she thought that they, like Sailor V, were just apart of some comic's imagination. Serena wasn't sure how to find her companions, something deep inside her told her that the time was coming soon, but she just didn't know when. Then before the competition, she had a dream. In this dream her mother, Queen Serenity, came to see her. In this dream, she told her to be prepared, that the time was coming when she would be reunited with her firends and love, but that she was to go to Tokyo, Japan and wait for them. In response to the dream, Serena decided that it was time to retire from the competing world. Besides, she decided that she had had enough of competition. She could wait and train for the next three years for the next Olympics, but she would be twenty-five then and she just couldn't see herself competing against girls who were ten years younger. Besides, she just won the Olympics, it was time to give someone else a chance. So tomorrow she was declaring her intensions on becoming a professional skater.

A few months ago she sent feelers through the skating gossip mill that she wanted to relocate to Tokyo, Japan, simply for a change, and that she wanted to become a skating coach there as well as continue training for an Professional Competitions that she wanted to enter. The national skating team in Japan wasted no time in offering her job with them, that included lodging and a car in addition to her normal pay, plus they were opening a new training facility in Tokyo. She had decided to go. *Boy,* she thought as she drifted off into sleep, * I sure am glad I won tonight. Now I have no regrets. Tokyo here I come!*

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A month later, Serena was getting settled into her new life. Tokyo seemed to be pretty exciting. She thanked her lucky stars daily that she made her parents get her a Japanese tutor years ago. Her Japanese was a little rusty, but it was coming back rather quickly. She loved her new job...She would train herself from 6-noon and then she'd have two 2 hour sessions with her students beginning at 1 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Saturday she'd go and train her normal training schedule and Sunday she'd be off. So she was really happy here in Tokyo. It was much better than her grueling ameture schedule.

Except today was the grand opening of the new ice rink at which she was doing her training,so they were having an open house and having a free skating session every hour for a group of twenty people. Since she was one of the instructors, not to mention a public figure, she had to make an appearance at every session. This was the final session of the day now and she was truly beat. She had no idea how many autographs she signed or how many times that her picture had been taken. <But that's o.k.> she thought, <this is what I live for.> Finally the last group was in and seated in the obsevation bleachers all with skates on, ready to go. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she felt a tingling sensation. It was strange, but something told her that her prince was actually here! While the GM of the rink was welcoming everyone, she quickly began scanning the crowd for some spark of recognition. But she couldn't make out anything from here, she would have to wait until everyone came down on the ice and then check them out. Suddenly, she realied that she was about to be introduced to the crowd

"And finally," the GM was saying, "we are so pleased to have this wonderful young lady, not only as a part of our staff, but also doing her Professional training here, from the United States of America, this year's Olympic Gold Meadalist, Serena Thompson!" The crowd went wild as she skated forward and waved to everyone. "Now everyone, Serena will be available after the session to sign autographs and take pictures, so please, don't ask until then. O.K. then everyone, take the ice!" He might as well shouted "Fire" because the bleachers cleared out so fast the Serena barely had time to get out of the way as the crowd hit the ice and headed straight for her. But she quickly exited the ice from the other side of the rink and encouraged everyone who stopped to keep going and that she'd be happy to talk to them later. Finally the crowd took the hint and left her alone to watch all of them skate around the rink. Then a group of about nine people caught her attention. They seemed a little older than the rest of the group and they were all laughing and trying really hard to help their one friend who just couldn't seem to get it. She watched him for a moment and immediately realized his problem, he was trying to walk instead of glide. It was really funny, because the poor guy kept falling down and taking two or three of his friends with him. Finally they pulled him up and attached him to the wall and left him. He seemed a little upset by this because he yelled after his now quickly departing friends "Thanks alot!" But Serena felt sorry for him, because it seemed like it was all he could do just to hold onto the wall. Quickly, she opened the door back to the ice and began skating against the oncoming traffic to get to the stranded man. Again people tried to stop and again she shooed them along. Finally making her way to the man, she stopped in front of him and said,

"Would you like some help?" His head had been down, concentrating on his feet below him, so when she spoke his head came up. They both stood there speechless for a moment. For him, it was her, the girl from his dreams, the girl who had skated just for him, only she didn't know it. For Serena, he was quite possibly the most beautiful man that she had ever seen. He had the most beautiful eyes that she had ever seen in her life...eyes that she could just lose herself in for the rest of her life. Finally, common sense returned and she smiled up at him. That was a mistake because he let go of the wall and fell down, almost taking her with him.

Serena laughed, it was like music to his ears. His angel finally reached down and he took her small delicate hand. She was a lot stronger than she appeared because she had him on his feet in little time. She was still smiling as she said,

"Come on, I'll help you." she said as she began to pull him along. But he tried to stop her nearly falling again, but she had a firm hold on him this time.

"No, I don't know how to do this and my butt's sore from falling." She laughed, but said

"It's o.k. I have you. Your problem is that you are trying to walk instead of glide."

"Yeah, that's what Lita said."

"Just let me pull you along and just feel the ice, o.k? Look I'll keep going backwards and I'll pull you along. Oh and quit looking at you feet. Just look at me and 'feel' the ice." His head came up again and he looked at her. A small blush now covered his face and her smile intensified.

"Well, you know that I'm Serena, but I'm at a loss at who you are." Embarrassed now, he stumbled out,

"Oh..um..I'm..uh..Darien. Darien Chiba." Her smiled softened and she then softly said,

"It's nice to meet you Darien Chiba." Then another feeling overtook her and she stared into his eyes. It was the same tingling feeling that she had before. <Could he be the one?> she thought to herself.

Across the ice, gradually catching up to Darien and Serena were his friends. They were all chatting excitedly at the sight in front of them.

"Can you believe it? She's actually skating with him!" Ami sqeeked out.

"I know, it's a good thing that he's never bothered to come skating with us before now." Lita said.

"Well I guess that takes care of how we are going to get ourselves introduced to her." Nicholas said. The others agreed and just watched.

Meanwhile, Darien was having the time of his life being pulled around the ice by this angel. It was weird though, he's had this strange tingling sensation since he walked into the building which had since intensified since Serena had joined him. He hadn't noticed at first because he had been too busy trying to skate, but now that she was in control and he was no longer concerned with falling, he was able to concentrate on it. He was about to ask her how she liked Tokyo so far, you know, just to make small talk because he couldn't come right out and ask, "Are you the Moon Princess?" it just wouldn't work, but then, a buzzer sounded signalling the end of the session. Slowly, Serena led Darien over to where his friends were now getting off the ice. Once there she said,

"Well Darien, it was nice skating you."

"Yeah, same here." It was an awkward moment, both not quite sure what to say or do next, finally, Serena began to skate away.

"Well, bye!" and she was gone through the door on the other side. Darien watched her go until Marcus and Michael came over to ask if he needed help getting off of the ice.

"No, I've got it." he said, carefully stepping off. He slowly came over and sat down next to Raye and sighed as he bent over to take off his skates. Raye, who was already ready to leave, said to him,

"Well, how was it??? Don't leave all of us in suspense!!! Give us the details!" The other girls now joined in with their own pleas for details.

"Come on, Darien!!"

"Give us the scoop!" Darien actually blushed as he said,

"Come on guys, you've got eyes. You saw what happened." Exasperated Mina grabbed his arm as said,

"But what did she SAY?"

"Oh, not much, she said 'hi!' and told me what I was doing wrong and kept telling me that I was doing good and that's about it. Oh yeah, she did mention that she thought that you guys were really cruel to leave me all by myself when I couldn't skate." Raye actually had the nerve to get a little upset over that and said,

"Hey, I thought that was part of the plan!" But Jason came over and put an arm around her shoulders, kissed her temple and said,

"Put your claws back, hon, he's just kidding with you." Raye looked up at Darien and a small smile (the most he believed he was capable of) was faintly outlined on his lips.

Finally the group gathered their things and headed for the exit. At the exit, there was large line standing there waiting for Serena, who was seated at a table, signing autographs and taking pictures.

"Hey, do you guys want to wait and talk to her?" Ami asked, but the group as a whole declined saying that they were hungry and the line was too long. But Darien stood there for a moment and stared at Serena, willing her to look up at him one last time. Currently, she was signing something for a small girl. Suddenly, she took her gaze off of the little girl and looked around for a moment. Then her gaze settled on him and she smiled. He actually smiled and waved to her and then left whistling to himself as he walked to his car.

Later that night, Serena was thinking about the mysterious Darien, who had showed up so suddenly in her life. She couldn't explain it, but she definately had some kind of bond or link to him. She had never felt more alive than when she was skating with him, merely holding his hands. And then, when she saw him standing there looking at her, it just didn't make sense, but she just knew that he was there and that he wanted her to look up at him. <I wonder if I tried to feel him now if I could, or does he have to be nearby or something?> she thought to herself. Suddenly inspired, she put down her cup of hot chocolate and began to concentrate on Darien. At first, there was nothing, and then his essence hit her like a ton of bricks! She could actually feel him! She could feel the lonliness inside of him at that moment and it made her cry. <I have to find him again!> she thought. <Tomorrow, I'll go searching. I'll try this again and try to find him.> with that final thought, she decided to go to bed.

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The next day, Serena had just finished training and was now using her new 'sense' to track down Darien. The snow was gently falling as Serena walked the streets of Tokyo, thinking that it would be better to follow her instincts on foot rather than by car. The tingling in the back of her head suddenly intensified as she passed the local cafe/arcade. She looked up at the sign that read "Crown Centre Arcade", shrugged her shoulders and walked in. Slowly she scanned the room and finally spotted a dark haired gentleman sitting at the counter in the cafe part. Straightening her shoulders, she walked over to the counter and sat down next to the man, who was talking to a blonde haired man that had an apron on. The blonde haired man was saying as she sat down,

"Wow, Darien! That's pretty incredible! Did you get her phone number?" Just then the blonde haired man smiled at her and said,

"Can I help you miss?" Serena barely heard him due to her heart pounding so loudly in her chest. <It worked!> she thought, <I found him!> Then she realized that the blonde guy was staring at her with a worried expression on his face. Hurriedly she said,

"Coffee!" The blonde guy smiled and turned to get her coffee. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Darien sitting next to her and he was slumped over his own cup of copy with a really depressed look on his face. Taking a deep breath, she turned to him and asked,

"Darien?" His head snapped up at the sound of his name and he turned in the general direction that he heard it come from. There he saw the most beautiful woman that the had ever seen in his life. More incredible was that she knew him, but he didn't know her.

"I'm sorry," he said, "But do I know you?" Serena laughed, he knew at once who it was. That laugh had been haunting him ever since he left the rink yesterday. "Serena?" he asked with awe in his voice.

"Yeah, so you do remember, huh?" A faint blush crossed Darien's face as he said,

"I'm sorry, I just didn't recognize you." Again she laughed as she said,

"It's o.k., I get that all the time. Most people don't recognize me with my hair down." She said as she tossed the waist length golden hair over her delicate shoulder. He nodded numbly.He just couldn't believe that she was here. Then the blonde guy interrupted by asking,

"Hey, Darien, who is this?" Darien looked at the guy and actually smiled a real smile. The blonde guy had stepped back at that and thought <Wow! She has him smiling! This has got to be the girl that he was just telling me about.>

"Andrew, this is Serena. Serena, this is my best friend Andrew." Andrew smiled at her and she said,

"Hi Andrew! Nice to meet you."

"Yeah, same here. So Drien was just telling me how he got to skate with you yesterday." Serena looked over at Darien as his blush deepened and said,

"Oh really?"

"Yeah," Andrew continued, "It was the highlight of his life!" Serena laughed.

"Andrew!" Darien snarled, "Shut up or I'll kill you!" Andrew and Serena laughed even harder and Darien blushed harder.

"So Serena, can I get you some lunch?" Andrew asked. Serena looked thoughtful for a moment and then said to Darien

"How 'bout it Darien? Want to have lunch with me?" Darien looked stunned for a moment and then said,

"Sure!"

"Great!" Serena responded and then got up and went over to an empty booth and waited for Darien to join her. However, he seemed to be stuck in his spot as he watched her walk over there. Her long glorious hair swayed with her every movement and if he thought that the workout outfit that she had on yesterday was provacative, then he was gonna have to pick his jaw up off of the floor for how she was dressed today. She had on a pair of tight faded blue jeans, high heeled black boots and a black crop top sweater on that showed the bare skin of her stomach if she moved the right way. She had just turned back to look at him when Andrew finally prodded him along. When Darien got to the booth, she sat down and he sat across from her as Andrew handed her a menu. He looked at Darien and said,

"You don't get a menu, Dare, you know what we have. I feed you everyday!" With that he laughed and walked away. Serena watched him go and then turned to find Darien staring at her.

"Is something wrong?" she asked. <Yeah,> Darien's mind screamed, <You're actually here with me!> but instead he said,

"Ah, no. I'm just a little surprised to see you and all." She just smiled.

The next three hours went by in a total flash for them. They had finished eating long ago, but now sat and talked about everything under the sun. Serena told him all about her life in America and growing up constantly training for skating and how she basically never had time for friends or boys because she was always busy skating. Darien, on the other hand, had never felt more relaxed and comfortable in his life. He found himself telling her about his parents and the crash, growing up in an orphanage and basically being on his own. He saw the sadness in her eyes when he talked about how lonely he had been in the orphanage and he never mistook it for pity, just sadness. He suddenly realized that he wanted to share every- thing with her and was on the verge of telling her about being Tux when the voice of reason stepped in and stopped him. <What are you, crazy? You don't know who this girl is and if you really do like her, do you want to scare her off and think you're nuts or something??? Remember, she's from American, they don't know about the Scouts or Tuxedo Mask or the Negaverse.> his mind screamed. That's where he was wrong though. America had it's own Scout, Sailor Moon. So instead he sat there as the conversation fell into a comfortable silence. Then all of a sudden, he jumped in his seat and looked at his watch.

"Oh no! What time is it?" Serena saw the panic on his face and said,

"It's about 3-3:30 I think, what's wrong?" Quickly he was getting up, throwing money down on the table as he explained.

"Remember those people I was with yesterday? Well, I was suppose to meet them at the one girl's temple about fifteen minutes ago!" Quickly she stood up with him, gathering her coat, scarf and gloves as he continued,

"I'm really sorry to cut this short, but I've got to go."

"Well, how about I go with you?? I've never seen a temple before." Darien stopped in his tracks. She wanted to go with him?? He looked back at her, his mind clearly deliberating the choice, after all, it was Negaverse business that they were meeting on. Serena's hopes were crushed when she saw him trying to decide whether or not to take her. In her mind, it was clear that he wasn't ready for her to meet his friends, so intead, she smiled and tried to hide her disappointment as she said,

"Hey, it's o.k. I understand. Maybe some other time then." Darien clearly read what she was trying to hide in her eyes.

"No, it's not like that..." he began, but she wouldn't let him finish as she walked past him and out the door.

"Thanks for lunch, I had a nice time." And then she was gone. Darien hung his head and debated whether or not to chase after her. Finally deciding to go after her, but when he got outside, she was gone. <Damn!> he thought and then got in his car and drove to the temple.

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Ice Princess - Chapter 2
by Athena

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Three days later, Serena's mind once again drifted to Darien as she was jogging through the park. It was really cold out today, but she didn't seem to notice, she was too lost in her thoughts.

<Maybe I shouldn't have went to find him. Maybe he thought I was being pushy. Oh, I only wanted to help. Yeah, who are you kidding, you're stuck on him.> she sighed as she continued along the all but deserted park. There were a few other joggers around and a few parents playing with their small children in the snow, but other than that, the park was deserted. She was just about to turn around and head back to her apartment when a shrill scream pierced the frigid air. Quickly she looked around for a safe place to transform. <Gee, I feel like Clark Kent looking for a phone booth!> she thought to herself. But actually, she discovered that she was quite alone and decided to transform in the open.

"Moon Crystal Power!"

In a flash of silver light and black ribbons, she became Sailor Moon. Quickly she teleported herself to the place of action. Upon materializing at the fight, she saw four other girls dressed similarly to her only different colors already fighting the monster that had disrupted the peaceful winter day. <Who are these people? And why are they dressed like me??> However, it didn't take a genius to realize that they were on her side as she watched them battle. But all too quickly, they got themselves in a bad position. <Well, time to save the day.> she thought to herself.

"Hey Nega-trash!" All eyes, including those of the scouts turned towards the new voice. "Why don't you pick on someone your own size." Everyone was now staring in disbelief at the beautiful warrior dressed similarly to the scouts only in black. The scouts, who were now tangled in a large web, called out as the spider like monster shot its web at the newcomer.

"Watch Out!" they called out, but Sailor Moon was on top of it. Quickly she lept into the air and out of the way of the web that had been coming towards her. However, the web managed to hit and ensnare the group of five men who had come along behind her. Four of them were dressed in some sort of uniform and the last one was in a tuxedo, top hat and mask. <Too weird!> she thought as she turned towards the spider monster that was now coming after her again. Again she lept, this time up and over the spider and landed behind it.

"Nice try!" she yelled at it and she slammed the staff of her massive glaive into the ground and as she continued "Moon Distortion....STRIKE!!!" invisble waves that seemed to distort the air around them came from the base of the staff and the spider creature screamed as it was shakened and weakened. Now Sailor Moon brought her glaive back up and made slashing like motions with it as she called out,

"Crescent Moon Glaive DESTRUCTION!" the spider monster glittered for a moment as the power from her glaive enetered it and then it disintegrated. Now that it was gone, the webs that it had trapped the others in also disappeared and they all fell to the ground in two separate heaps. She couldn't help but laugh at the sight before her. They were all trying to stand and untangle themselves at once and it really wasn't working. Finally, they were all on their feet again, each girl going to one of the uniform clad men and hugging them. Stranglely, it both bothered and overjoyed her to see that the masked man didn't have anyone to come and hug him. Finally all attention was focused on her. She stood there, patiently taking in their stares as they looked her up and down. Then the girl dressed in the red outfit like hers said,

"Well, I guess that we should thank you, but before we do, I want to know who you are?" her tone was anything but friendly. Sailor Moon raised an eyebrow at her tone, but then merely said,

"If I tell you, will you tell me who you are?" This seemed to anger the girl in red because she raised a threatening fist as she stepped forward and yelled,

"This isn't a game!" Sailor Moon smiled and said,

"Yes it is!"

"No it's not!" the man standing next to the red skirted girl snarled back. But Sailor Moon only laughed and said,

"Then I guess you don't find out!" and she disappeared. The others stood stunned, but they failed to notice how erect Tuxedo Mask now stood. <That laugh.> he thought, <I know that laugh. But it just couldn't be her....could it?> Finally, Zoicite snapped him out of his thoughts as he asked,

"Hey Tux, you okay?" Tux looked at the others to see that they were all staring at him.

"Uh, yeah, fine."

"You sure," Nephlite asked, "because you look like you've seen a ghost." But he merely turned around and began walking away as he said,

"Fine. Look I gotta go. See ya." And then he was gone. The others sat speechless for a moment,but then decided that they should probably follow suit and leave and with the swirling of the snow, the others disappeared as well.

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Ice Princess - Chapter 3
by Athena

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Later, at the temple, the Scouts, the Generals and Tuxedo Mask all sat around, though now in their human forms, discussing the new 'scout'.

"Well, it's obvious that she's some sort of Sailor Scout." Lita was saying.

"True. I also don't believe that she's our enemy." Marcus answered.

"O.k. so maybe she's not our enemy, so why all the mystery with her? I mean, she actually said that this was some sort of game!" Raye said in frustration.

"Calm down, Raye. Maybe that is how she views it, but it's not like she treated this as some sort of game. She was definately playing for keeps out there. That might just be how she is reacting to us. After all, it's not like this girl just found out that she was a Sailor Scout. Her skills and powers were too well used." Ami said.

"Artemis, is it possible there is another Scout as well as the Princess?" Mina asked her guardian cat who also doubled as the group's advisor.

"I don't know Mina. But I honestly don't remember there being a fifth Sailor Scout. What I think we need to do is somehow track this girl down and play along with her game so that we can get some answers from her."

"O.k. little fur ball, and how do you propose that we do that, place an ad in the paper?" Jason asked sarcastically.

"I don't know! Maybe we could stage a battle or something. She showed up this time." Artemis snapped back. Meanwhile Darien, who had been silent throughout the entire conversation, softly spoke up.

"We don't have to do that. She'll come to me." The statement fell between the group like a sledge hammer, no one knew what to say to this, finally Marcus asked.

"Why do you say that? Do you know who she is?" Darien had a far away look in his eye as he answered,

"I might."

"But why do you think that she'll come to you?" Ami asked. Darien remained silent as the mystery woman's laughter filled his mind and then an image of Serena took her place. It was her, he was sure of it. Silently he stood and collected his jacket, he was going to go and have a chat with his little ice nymph.

"Darien? Where are you going? What do you know that we don't?" Artemis asked. But Darien just left the room.

"That guy gets stranger by the minute." Jason mumbled.

"Well I guess that we are just gonna have to leave this up to him." Lita said standing to leave herself. But her boyfriend, Nick, caught her attention when he said,

"I'll go and consult the stars and see if I can get any leads." Raye nodded her head and added,

"I'll consult the fire as well."

"Fine then. Let's all meet back here later this evening and discuss what we found. Maybe then Darien will be a little bit more normal." Artemis said as the group dispersed.

****************************

Darien had walked across town to the ice rink only to be told that she was gone for the day and would be back tomorrow morning at 6 am. Darien was surprised at how easily that he was able to obtain information about someone as famous as Serena. So he asked why the guard told him all of this and the guard had told him that Serena said to. <Strange,> he thought, <she knew that I'd be coming by. What the hell was going on here? First she tracks me down at the arcade, then she shows up in the nick of time at the battle?> This was too much of a coincidence for him. She knew something that he didn't. So inspired he had asked the guard if he happened to know where Serena lived. The guard smiled and handed him a piece of paper. The paper had little moons and rabbits on it and it was definately a girl's neat handwriting that had written down the address on the page. Darien felt a strange tingling sensation again, but just thought that it was a cold chill as he walked off in the direction of the address.

******************************

"You should've seen them all Luna! They were all there, just like you'd said they'd be!" Serena was saying to her guardian cat Luna.

"Now give me every detail, Serena. What exactly happened?" Luna said stiffly, still a little annoyed that Serena hadn't summonded her to the battle as well.

"Come on Luna, I already told you everything. I don't see why you are so upset." Serena said as she fixed herself a cup of tea.

"Because Serena, this was our chance to rejoin the others. We came here for this reason. Don't you remember your dream?"

"Yes." she said, now annoyed.

"Then why did you have to play this game with them? Why couldn't you just tell them who you were?" Serena came over and flopped herself down on the couch next to Luna as she said,

"Because Luna, it's more fun this way! Besides, I really didn't want to say, 'hey guys, I'm Sailor Moon as well as the Princess.'"

"Well, why not?"

"Because!! I...uh, just didn't feel like it. Besides, the Prince wasn't there and I want to reveal myself to him first, not to these other people."

"What do you mean that the Prince wasn't there? I thought that you said they were all there."

"Well all of the scouts were there and the scouts protectors and some guy in a tuxedo and top hat and mask. I thought that was a little strange." An exasperated sigh escaped Luna and was about to say something but was interrupted by a knock at the door. Serena frowned as she quickly got up and went to the door.

"Who is it?" she called out.

"It's me, Serena, Darien." Serena let out a little squeal and jumped up and down for a moment as Luna rolled her eyes and jumped off the couch and disappeared into the other room. Then Serena opened the door.

"Hi, Darien! I see that you found my note."

"Uh yeah. Speaking of...." he said as he walked in and stood in the middle of the living room taking a look around.

"Can I get you something to drink?" she asked, taking his coat.

"No, I'm fine. May I sit down? I wanted to talk to you about something." A chill ran down Serena's spine. <Maybe he will finally ask me out!> she thought with a squeal of delight.

"Sure!"

"Look Serena, something happened today. You see there was this youma attack today in the park and...." he didn't he just trailed off and looked at her expectantly. Serena looked at him cluelessly and said,

"And?"

"Well, why didn't you tell me?" he asked.

"Tell you what?" she asked with confusion.

"Come on Serena, I know that was you there today. The new Sailor Scout. I was there too." Surprise flashed briefly across her face as she thought, <He was there?> but she quickly recovered and the clueless expression returned. But Darien had seen the look of surprise and knew he was right.

"I don't know what you are talking about Darien. I was in the park earlier today...JOGGING. Not playing the part of some scout. By the way, what exactly is a Sailor Scout? I am from America, remember?" she said, praying that he wouldn't see through it, but he did.

"Why are you lying to me Serena? It's o.k. I won't tell anyone if that's what you want...I just want to hear it from you." Serena managed to look him straight in the eye as she continued with her lie,

"I'm really sorry Darien, but I don't know what you're talking about! I'm no Sailor Scout! I'm a figure skater, remember??" But Darien just looked at her sadly as he stood up and walked towards the door.

"I KNOW that it was you there Serena. I guess I can understand why you wouldn't tell me, but I don't like being lied to, especially by people that I care about. I guess that I was wrong about what kind of person you are." Tears formed in Serena's eyes as she looked away from him and asked,

"What's that suppose to mean?" But he didn't answer, he just walked out closing the door softly behind him. It tore him apart to do this to her, but he hadn't really expected her to come right out and admitt it. But when she couldn't stand it anymore, she'll come to him with the truth...just like he said she would.

Back inside, the tears flowed down Serena's face as she sat there looking at the closed door. Luna had quietly come out of the room and came up to sit next to Serena.

"Oh Serena! How did he know? Who was that anyway? What did he mean that he was there?" she asked softly. Serena sniffed as she wiped away some tears and said,

"That was Darien, Luna. You know, the one I said that I thought might have been the Prince." Luna sat up straight and said,

"Really? He was something of a dish now wasn't he?" Serena just frowned at her before continuing,

"The funny thing is, Luna, that I knew exactly why he was here when he walked in the door. I was stunned. I couldn't believe that he knew."

"But how, Serena?"

"Oh I don't know, Luna!" Serena wailed, "He said that he was there, but I don't know where he was. No one saw me transform..NO ONE! Unless...could he have been one of the generals?" Luna looked at her expectantly as Serena sat and recalled the events that took place earlier in the day.

"I..uh..remember, um, the four generals, one had short blonde hair, another had long white hair, another with long red hair and then blonde again. Nope no black haired guys." Then she whirled her head around to Luna as she suddenly remembered,

"Oh wait a minute! The guy in the tux and top hat! Please don't tell me that was him!"

"Yes, Serena.....it had to be." Luna said mater of factly.

"Damn!" Serena spat, "No wonder he knew that I was lying to him! So what now?" Luna just looked at her a moment and then said,

"Now, you are going to go and find Darien and his friends and tell them the truth. It's time for you to cease being a solo act. It's just too dangerous. Especially since that attack had Diamond's name written all over it." Serena just rolled her eyes as she said,

"But I don't know where he went." Luna finally at the end of her patience with Serena, yelled,

"Don't give me that, Serena!!! I know about the psychic bond between you and him! Now get MOVING!!!!" Disgusted, Serena stood up and went to change her clothes before going to find Darien.

*********************************************

Forty-five minutes later, Serena pulled up to the steps that led up the Cherry Hill Temple. Confused, she looked at Luna and said,

"He's here?"

"Are you sure, Serena?"

"Yep. Maybe he's praying that I'll forgive him for tricking me like this... although not likely. Well, let's go and see if anyone knows him." She and Luna got out of the car and Serena drew the collar of her coat up around her throat as the wind whipped through her. She was sure Darien was here somewhere, she could feel him close by. Slowly she made her way up the steps, looking around at the strange carvings. Finally, she and Luna reached the top of the steps and she looked around the deserted courtyard for some clue of which way to go. Again she started forward slowly walking up the steps to the building, and then noticing light coming from under a door. Hesitantly, she reached out and knocked on the door and called out,

"Hello? Is anyone there?" Inside, the group came to a stop and listened.

"Did someone just knock?" Raye asked. Then they all heard it again.

"Hello?" The group just stared at each other and then Darien said,

"It's Serena. I told you that she would come to me." But Raye just looked at him like 'yeah, right.' and got up to tell whoever it was that the temple was closed for the day.

"I don't think that anyone is gonna answer, Luna." Serena said as her teeth began to chatter in the cold.

"Try one more time, Serena." Serena gave Luna a disgruntled look and was about to knock again when the door suddenly opened a crack.

"I'm sorry," the woman who was veiled in the shadows said, "but the temple is closed for the day. Please come back tomorrow." Snd began to shut the door, but Serena stuck her hand out to stop her. Now infuriated the woman said,

"Excuse ME! But I said we are closed!" But Serena wouldn't budge. Instead she softly said,

"I need to see Darien Chiba. And don't try to tell me that he's not here. I know that he is." The shadowed woman gasped and said,

"Who are you?"

"My name is Serena." The woman gasped again, but this time stepped away to allow Serena to enter. Serena entered the warm room with Luna perched on her shoulder. Quickly she scanned the room's occupants for Darien. She spotted him sitting on the floor across the room with his back propped against the wall. Their eyes met for what seemed like an eternity as they stared at each other. Finally, Serena broke the stare to look around the room and took notice of the other inhabitants. They were the people that were with him at the rink that first day. <Of course!> she thought, <it would make sense that they are friends as well as scouts and generals. They are guardians as well.> No one said anything for a while then finally, the white haired man spoke up.

"Can we help you?" She focused her gaze on him and smiled at him. This caught him completely off guard because he was using his best intimidation face on her.

"I need to speak with you Darien." she said instead. Darien didn't say anything for a moment, then he softly said with his eyes never leaving hers,

"Whatever it is you have to say, you can say it to all of us. I'm sure that it concerns us all." But Serena gave him an exasperated look and said,

"But I'd rather talk to you first." He merely shook his head.

"You're going to make this hard on me, aren't you?" she asked and he nodded. In frustration, she threw her hands up and said,

"Oh fine, you win! O.k. everyone, I'm the new Scout that appeared yesterday." Each one of them looked shocked, but Raye recovered first and said,

"Yeah, right! Miss Figure Skating Champion is a Sailor Scout??? As if!" Serena looked furious as she practically growled out,

"Are you saying that I'm lying?" Raye smirked as she challenged,

"Yes." Serena stiffened and Luna groaned as she jumped off Serena's shoulder, finally drawing attention to herself.

"Hey, that cat looks like Artemis, only black." Ami pointed out. Everyone including Raye looked at Luna who was sitting peacefully on the floor looking innocent. Then Raye turned her attention back to Serena and said,

"So? That doesn't mean anything. She's no Scout." Serena crossed the space between herself and Raye and got in her face as she pushed Raye back and said,

"You'll eat those words in a minute." Raye just continued to smirk as Serena took a step back and thrust her hand in the air as she called out,

"MOON CRYSTAL POWER!!!!!" Everyone including Raye gasped and watched as Serena transformed in a flury of silver light and black ribbons. When the transformation was complete, Serena, now Sailor Moon, stood in front of Raye with her large Crescent Moon Glaive poised in front of her, ready to strike at Raye as she softly said,

"Still think that I lie?" Raye's eyes were large and full of fear as she stared at the Sailor Scout in front of her. Jason made a move to defend his love from the new Scout, but a look from Darien stopped him. Finally Raye managed to sqeak out.

"No...I..was wrong....I..I'm sorry..if I...offended you." Sailor Moon just glared at her. Luna seeing that Serenaís temper was about to explode decided to step in.

"Thatís enough Serena. Youíve made your point." Reluctantly, Sailor Moon dropped her defensive stance and looked at everyone. She thought that the shocked expressions on their faces was from hearing her cat talk, so she said,

"This is my guardian, Luna. Doesnít your white cat over there talk too? I mean, I thought with the moon and all on his head that he would." Luna, pretty sure that Serena wasnít going to attack Raye when she turned her back, softly padded over to the disgruntled looking Ďwhite catí.

"Sailor Moon, this is Artemis. I believe that heís Minaís guardian, right?"she said as she looked at Artemis.

"Thatís right. Welcome to the team, guys. So, Sailor Moon was it?" he said addressing her.

"Thatís right, I am Sailor Moon. I stand for love and justice and on behalf of the moon, Iíll punish you! Well, thatís what I usually say." she said when they all looked at her like she had lost her mind. Then she detransformed and stood there in the center of the group feeling extremely uncomfortable. Finally, Luna took control over the situation and said,

"Well you know who we are, so why not tell us who you are?"

"Good idea, Luna. O.k. then Serena, Luna, allow me to present the Sailor Scouts and their protectors, the Royal Guard. Thatís Mina, also known as Sailor Venus, the leader of the Scouts. Thatís Raye, aka Sailor Mars, Lita, aka Sailor Jupiter and Ami, aka Sailor Mercury." he said as he pointed a white paw at each girl. Then he turned to the Royal Guard and said,

"Thatís Marcus, aka, Malachite, the leader of the guard. Thatís Nicholas, aka Nephlite, Jason, aka Jedite and Zachary, aka Zoicite. And Darien is Tuxedo Mask.

"Doesnít he have anyone to.....watch over?" Serena asked, trying not to seem to interested.

"No not yet, I suppose that he could be yours." Artemis said. But Serena looked horrified by that thought and said,

"No thanks! I work alone." Darien just raised an eyebrow, but Luna gave her a stern look and said,

"Not anymore you donít." But Serena ignored her and started towards the door and said,

"Well folks, I hate to end this...most joyous reunion, but Iíve got to be at the rink early tomorrow. Letís go Luna." But Luna remained where she was and said,

"No, Iím staying. I think that Artemis and I have some strategizing to do. Artemis, what do you say we have a training session tomorrow, say around five thirty.

"An excellent idea Luna, except we always make it at six, to accomadate everyoneís schedules." Luna nodded and Serena just shrugged and said,

"Suit yourself. Bye!" and she walked out the door. Darien got up and quickly followed her.

"Hey Serena, wait up!" Serena stopped, but when she turned to face him, there was anger on her beautiful face. He noticed and slowed his strides and then hesitantly asked,

"Whatís wrong?" that was it, her temper exploded.

"Wrong? Wrong? You dare ask me what is wrong??? You knew who I was this entire time, but yet you made me look like a fool in front of everyone. And just who is the vodoo queen back there that thinks she knows everything??" Darien was stunned for a moment and then softly said,

"Serena, I did give you a chance to tell me at your place, but you chose not too."

"That right!" she screamed at him, "I chose not to tell you!"

"So why did you come?" He asked softly, never taking his eyes from hers.

"Because Luna wanted me too! She said that it was getting too dangerous for me being on my own, with Di..nevermind. She just thought that I could use some back up."

"So you didn't want to tell me, you just came because Luna wanted you to."

"Right."

"So what about us?" She narrowed her eyes at him now and said,

"What us? There is no us! As far as I'm concerned, you blew any chance with me when you tricked me into telling you who I was. You couldn't just trust me and let me reveal that to you in my own time."

'But Serena..." Furious beyond comprehension now she shook her head and waved her hands at him and said,

"No Darien, no more! Unless it deals battling the Negaverse, stay away from me!" With that she turned on her heel and walked away. A moment later he heard a car door slam, the engine of a car being started and the squeal of tires as Serena pulled away and disappeared into the snowy night.

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Ice Princess - Chapter 4
By Athena

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Two weeks had gone by since she had 'come out' about being Sailor Moon and every night for the last two weeks, Luna and Artemis had insisted on grueling training sessions in order for everyone get their attacks in sync. Serena had never been more exhausted in her entire life. Even when she was training for the Olympics last year wasn't as bad as this.

This morning when she had left for the rink, she had told Luna that under no certain terms would she be showing up for a practice session today. Luna had told her that she had to come but Serena had stood her ground. Yesterday during her own skating session she had missed every jump that she had attempted because she was simply too tired to get the speed she needed or the strength to leap. Her coach had told her to take the rest of the day off to get some rest. At least it was obvious to someone that she was exhausted.

She raised an arm out of the hot bubble bath that she was currently soaking in and watched as the water ran off her arm as her thoughts continued to drift over the last two weeks.

Then there was Darien. She had been furious with him for how he had gotten her to confess her secret. But truth of it was, he was right. He had given her the chance to tell him, but she chose to play dumb. The problem was, she was too proud to tell him so and patch things up with him. Besides, he didn't know that she was harboring the secret that she was the Moon Princess and that was the most important secret of all. Even Luna agreed that now wasn't the time to admit that to the group just yet. They both felt that it would be better if they got use to Sailor Moon first. So at least she felt like she hadn't lost control of the situation completely.

Problem number two. She absolutely hated the feeling of not being in control. That's why she had been so mad at Darien. Only Luna knew Serena's true feelings about Darien and wouldn't you know it, that coniving little fur ball made sure that she and Darien were paired together every time they had a practice battle. She knew that sooner or later that Serena would give into her real feelings for Darien and quit this charade that she hated the sight of him. The sad part was that Serena was ready to do that the day after that night at the temple, but again, her pride got in the way. So she and Darien traded barbs and insults instead of kisses and passion. It hurt to see him everyday and not be with him. Then to watch the others was pure torture!

Problem number three. She was afraid to get close to anyone again. After what had happened over a year ago with the death of her family and Sapphire, she was afraid to get close to anyone again. After all, Diamond did kill his own BROTHER to get to her. It hadn't been planned that way, of course, but it all came down that way. Diamond had figured out that Sailor Moon went about as an everyday normal human when she wasn't saving the planet from him and his cronies. Her distinctive Meatball hairstyle had made her stand out. Diamond had figured out her true identity because she shared the same hairstyle as Sailor Moon, not to mention that there had been too many other similarities. So to make a long story short, he sent his brother, Sapphire, in to find out as much as he could about the human, Serena Thompson. Sapphire had landed a job as her personal trainer. But as time went on, they had fallen in love. But by then, it was too late. Diamond had already put the order out to kill her family based on information that Sapphire had given him over the months. It had been during the funerals that Sapphire had admitted to Serena who he really was and his role in this all. She had felt so betrayed at the time that she refused to listen to any information that Sapphire had wanted to share. Nor would she listen to his pleas begging for her forgiveness. She hadn't believed that he had loved her, that it had all be a trick by him and the Negaverse like he had said it had started out as. He kept appearing when she was alone, begging her to watch her back, that Diamond was planning to attack now that she was weak. But still she didn't take that as a sign of his love. It wasn't until the attack had come and Sapphire had thrown himself in front of her to save her from a blast from his brother did she realize that he truly had loved her. Diamond hadn't even batted an eyelash at what he had done. Only muttered something about the traitor getting his due before he had disappeared. But she had wept hysterically as Sapphire died in her arms declaring his love for her with his last breath. That had been over a year ago.

It wasn't long after that, that she discovered that she was the Moon Princess and that she actually had a Prince out there somewhere waiting for her. She had felt that she actually had a goal or purpose then, that she wasn't alone in this insane battle against the Negaverse. But it had taken some time before she would allow herself to believe in the legend that the Prince was her long lost true love from so many years ago. With the pain of Sapphire's and her family's deaths so fresh, it was hard to imagine any kind of love, let alone one that had lasted over a thousand years. But now after finding him, and she had no doubts that he was the Prince, even though he hadn't come right out and said it yet. She did love him, there were just a few obstacles standing in her way, namely pride and fear.

She was startled out of her thoughts by a ringing phone. Frowning she picked up the portable phone that sat on the ledge next to her.

"Hello?"

"Serena? Are you o.k.?" the female voice asked. It was Ami. Serena's frown intesified as she said,

"Yeah Ames, why?"

"Well it's going on 6:30 and training was to start at 6:00 and so we were worried." Now Serena sat up in the tub and asked worriedly,

"What? Where's Luna? Didn't she get there?"

"Yes she's here, why?"

'Wait a minute, Luna's there and she didn't bother to tell you that I couldn't make it today???"

"No." Serena swore silently to herself and as calm as she could manage she said,

"Put Luna on the phone please." Now Ami sounded confused as she asked,

"Serena, how would I do that?" Serena rolled her eyes, for someone as smart as Ami was, she sure couldn't see the obvious sometimes.

"Just put the phone down next to her and she'll hear me." Ami did as she asked and Serena heard Ami tell Luna that she wanted to talk to her.

"Serena, just where are you?" came Luna's patronizing voice.

"Luna, am I mistaken, or did I tell you that I was not coming today???"

"No you did and I told you to be here."

"Luna! I AM NOT COMING!!!!! There is no way. I need rest! I've got a Christmas show to do in a few weeks and right now I can't land any of my jumps because I don't have the energy to do it. NO I am not coming!!!"

"But Serena, you have an obligation as Sailor Moon and...." Serena was really fuming now as she cut Luna off and yelled,

"And I have an obligation as Serena Thompson, the Olympic Gold Medalist that the good people of Tokyo have paid good money to come and see in a few weeks! Not to mention that it's going to be televised in the States! What about that obligation??? What do you want me to say? 'Sorry folks, but I can't perform because I've been too busy training to fight the Negaverse???' I don't think so! Not only would it end my career, they'd cart me off to the nearest nut house faster than you can say Sailor Moon!"

Luna was silent on the other end for a moment then she finally said, "Alright, I suppose that you have a point. How about meeting us at Lita's cafe for dinner so that we can discuss some strategy?"

Serena sighed on the other end, she really didn't want to leave at all. She wanted to curl up on the sofa with a bowl of popcorn and pop a really good romatic movie into the VCR and just veggitate the rest of the night. But she also knew that Luna wouldn't let up on dinner so she said,

"Fine, give me an hour, I'm taking a bath at the moment." Luna agreed and hung up. Serena sat there for a moment longer and thought <Maybe it's time that I come clean and tell everyone everything. Afterall, they should know what they are up against.> then got out and began to get ready.

************************************************

She was just reaching for her keys when her communicator suddenly went off. Annoyed now, she snatched it up and yelled,

"What??? I said give me an hour!!!" But Sailor Venus's voice came through frightened and garbled on the other end.

"Serena...quick...attack....park...we're losing...most of us are....Tuxedo Mask...."then it went dead altogether. Frantic Serena began pushing buttons and yelling,

"Venus! Venus Come In!!!" then all of a sudden, she felt Darien's pain. It was so intense that it nearly doubled her over. <NO! Darien!> she thought as she quickly transformed and teleported to the park.

The scene that she found was a grim one. Most of the Scouts and Guards were down. Only Mars and Jedite remained standing and that was questionable. Emerald, one of Diamond'S henchmen, was leading an attack on the Scouts. The blasts of power that she sent spiraling towards that Scouts and Generals were raw and powerful. They had barely been a match for her. Numbly Sailor Moon watched as both Jedite and Mars took another hit and went flying. Emerald's hideous laugh filled the air and then she set her sights on a figure in black that had slowly begun to move. It was Tuxedo Mask. He was barely moving at all, but it was enough to draw Emerald's attention. Her hideous laugh once again rang out as she called to her victim.

"Time to say good night, Cape Boy!" and then unleashed another powerful blast of energy towards him. Sailor Moon stood stunned for a moment as visions of a scene familiar to this one took place many moons ago and then she screamed,

"NOOOOOOOO!!!!!" her scream caught Emerald's attention and made her look in that direction, but she only saw a glimmer of light. The next thing she knew, Sailor Moon was now standing in front of her with a crazed look in her eye.

"COSMIC MOON POWER!!!!" she had screamed. Sailor Moon wasn't sure that the attack would work as Sailor Moon, but she didn't have time to change into the Moon Princess.

But Emerald watched in horror as a Crescent Moon appeared on Sailor Moon's forehead, flickered for a moment and then burst into a silver light, blinding her. She never really knew what hit her as the energy coming from Sailor Moon enveloped her and destroyed her.

Sailor Moon was numb. In her mind she was back at the battle that had taken place over a year ago. Once again she was trapped to watch Sapphire take the energy meant for her, but this time, she could move. This time, she would stop it before it hit him. So she called out the attack that brought out the full power of the crystal. She was vaguely aware of all of the energy running through her and then out of her through the crystal that now floated between her hands and she stood there and screamed,

"NOOO! SAPPHIRE!!!!"

Wave after wave of the incredible power of the Imperium Silver Crystal continued pour from Sailor Moon and the crystal, even afer Emerald was gone. Finally, a small semblence of reality returned and slowly she quit her attack. She stood there, her chest heaving with each heavy breath that she took, staring at the pile of dust that was once Emerald. The crystal in her hand flickered for a moment and then disappeared. All of a sudden, she felt weak and light headed. The crystal, she knew, had drained most of her energy. Slowly she turned to look at her fallen friends, and with little awareness, saw that all but Darien were now up and gaping at her. She looked at them puzzled as to what they could be staring at, not realizing that they were in shock over her use of such awesome power or the crescent moon that still blazed brightly on her forehead. Then suddenly, her energy was gone and she collasped to the ground, unconscious.

The others stood there stunned for a moment. No one moved or breathed as they tried to take in what they had just witnessed. No one had a doubt that Sailor Moon was the Moon Princess, for only the decendants of the Moon had that much power. Power which came from the Imperium Silver Crystal. Finally they were jarred back to reality when Luna came running by them yelling,

"Sailor Moon! Sailor Moon! Can you hear me?" she stopped at Sailor Moon's motionles form and began to try and shake she with her paws. Finally Sailor Moon moaned, but did not awaken. Luna sighed with relief. This seemed to register on Sailor Mercury as she snapped out of her stuper and came forward with her computer. After scanning Sailor Moon and tapping on a few keys, she looked at Luna and said,

"She'll be fine. She's just had a loss of energy." Luna again sighed with relief and then pointed a paw at Darien's mangled form and said,

"What about him?" Quickly Mercury scanned him and said,

"He's in bad shape. He took more of a blast than any of us did. We need to get him to the hospital right away. I need to get him into emergency surgury!" Just then, the wail of sirens filled the air.

"Quick, take Sailor Moon home. She only needs rest. I'll wait for the ambulance. I want to work on Darien myself. Now go!" The others quickly complied and disappeared into the night with Sailor Moon.

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Eight hours later, Serena woke with a start from the unconscious state that using the crystal had put her in. Glancing quickly about the room, she realized that she was actually in her bed. <What happened? I remember having to transform and teleporting to a battle, but from there it's blank.> Slowly Serena got out of her bed, she was still in the clothes that she had been in prior to going to the battle. After a quick stop in the bathroom, Serena headed out to the living room of her apartment. It was pitch black there, because it was the middle of the night, but even though she couldn't see, she could hear breathing. Frowning now, she walked over to where she knew there was a lamp and swtiched it on. Upon doing so, there were a few grunts by the inhabitants that were scattered about her living room sleeping. Mina and Marcus were on the couch and Lita and Nicholas were on the floor. All four were now sitting up and covering their eyes against the glare while they became use to it. It was Lita that spoke up first,

"O.k., who's the wise guy?" Then she saw Serena and said, "Oh Serena. I didn't see you there. How are you feeling?" Serena looked at her a little puzzled and said,

"I'm fine. I mean, I feel a little hungover, but o.k. Why? And what are you guys doing here?" All four were now sitting up and Marcus asked,

"You mean that you don't remember?" Serena shook her head and said,

"No." The four other occupants of the room looked at each other and then finally Mina said,

"Serena, who's Sapphire?" Serena looked shocked and she hesitantly asked,

"Why? Where did you hear that name?"

"Serena, at the batte, you screamed that name as you, well, killed that woman with the green hair and awful laugh." The others sat and watched as Serena's eyes became wide with recognition. Serena reached out and steadied herself again the couch. Quickly, Marcus was up and helping her sit down. Inside Serena, there was a storm raging as she remembered the details to the battle. Then she groaned and doubled over with an agonizing cry,

"Oh Darien!" Tears began to stream down her face as she saw him lying motionless in her mind's eye at the battle scene. He was bloody and burnt in places. She looked at Mina and said.

"Is he...is he..?" but she couldn't finish. Her mind just kept screaming 'No!'

"We don't know anything yet. Ami is with him at the hospital. She hasn't called yet, so we were assuming that she was still in surgury with him." Serena felt as if she was gonna be physically sick. He couldn't die, he just couldn't! She started to rock back and forth on the couch as more tears ran down her face as she sobbed out,

"Damn you, Diamond!" the others looked at each other in confusion at this new name. Then Serena stood suddenly and hurriedly put on her shoes and grabbed a jacket from the hall closet. Frantically, she began looking for her keys.

"Serena! Just where the hell do you think you are going?" Lita yelled at her, but Serena didn't answer. She just found her keys and ran out the door with all four in hot pursuit. It was Nicholas that caught her and held her tight as she fought against him.

"I'm sorry, Princess, but I can't let you go. You are too distraught." Serena only fought harder, not even realizing how he addressed her, and said,

"But I have too. He can't die! I won't let him! Not when I can save him! PLEASE!!!" But he just held tighter and started to drag her back to her apartment when she surprised them all, including herself, when she suddenly disappeared from his arms. The others stood there stunned and finally Marcus said,

"I had no idea that she could do that in her human form." Neither could anyone else, especially Serena.

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Ten minutes later, Serena pulled into the hospital parking lot and was out of the car practivally before it stopped. She ran inside and went to the receptionist in the ER. The receptionist looked up and said,

"May I help you, Miss?"

"Yes, I, uh, Darien Chiba, brought in. He was brought in a few hours ago. He was hurt really bad." The nurse just stared at her and then punched some keys on the keyboard and then looked up at Serena and said,

"Are you family?" Serena shook her head and said,

"No, but.." but the nurse cut her off and said,

"I'm sorry Miss, but I can't give out any information on that patient except to family." Frantic now, Serena yelled,

"But he has no family! I'm his..his, uh, girlfriend." But the nurse still shook her head and said,

"I'm sorry Miss, but there are strict orders from Dr. Minzu to not give out any infor.." Serena now cut her off and said,

"Yes, Ami, I mean, Dr. Minzu, I'm her friend. Call her. She'll tell you that I'm allowed to see him." The nurse was going to deny her, but Serena kept yelling and finally the nurse said, o.k. and paged Ami, then she told Serena to go and sit while waiting on Ami. Serena did as she was told, surprisingly and went and sat and fidgeted while she waited for Ami.

Ten more minutes went by and Serena thought that she was going to go out of her mind when Ami finally came around the corner. Ami didn't see her at first and turned to the receptionist when Serena called her name. Ami turned around to see a very distraught looking Serena. Immediately Ami came over and put her arms around Serena in a hug. She turned back to the nurse and said that it was alright and she began to lead the now sobbing Serena down the hall.

"Serena, what are you doing here? I just got a frantic page from Mina saying that you left your apartment all upset."

"Oh Ami, how is he?" Ami stopped and looked at Serena for a long moment. Serena sensed that she had bad news and immediately said,

"Don't even tell me that he's dead. I know that he's not! I can feel that he's not gone!" Quietly Ami said,

"No, Serena, he's not gone...yet. But I honestly don't expect that he'll make it another 24 hours. He's really bad Serena. I tried everything, but.." and she trailed off. Serena just looked at her, she felt totally numb inside and somewhere in her mind she thought <I could get use to feeling this way.> Then she realized that Ami was calling her name and she snapped out of her daze. When Ami realized that Serena was once again paying attention to her, she continued,

"Serena, he's in a coma." Serena sniffed and quietly said,

"Can I see him?"

"Sure, come on. He's in the ICU. I'll sign you in and make sure that you always have access."

When they reached the ICU, Ami signed her in and told the nurses that she was to have access at anytime. Then she lead Serena over to Darien's room. Serena stood in the doorway and stared at Darien's mangled form. He was practically covered from head to toe in white bandages. Pure white hatred for Diamond washed over her. She would repay him for all the hurt and anguish that he has caused her. By the Moon, he would. But she looked over at Ami, who was standing at his side now and said,

"Ames, can I be alone with him for a moment?"

"Sure, go ahead and talk to him. It's good for him." Then she walked past Serena and left the room.

Serena stood in the doorway for a moment longer and then slowly entered the room. A deadly calm came over her as she looked at him. His face was swollen and bruised, while she couldn't even see any of the rest of his skin as he was bandaged, most likely for the burns. Then she leaned over and kissed his swollen lips gently. When she stood up, she stared at him a moment longer and then she said,

"I couldn't save Sapphire, but I can save you." Then she held out her hands and the Imperium Silver Crystal appeared and hovered between her hands. Then she quietly whispered,

"Moon Healing Activation"

The crystal flared to life at her command and bathed Darien in its silver light. Serena closed her eyes in concentration and continued to pour its power into him. Then she heard his heart monitor beep as his heart rate increased. Only when she heard him moan, did she stop the energy. When she looked at him, his was breathing strong and steady and the bruises on his face were gone. She had a pretty good idea that the burn marks would also be gone. She smiled down at him as he slowly opened his eyes and tried to look at his angel. But then the strain of using the crystal and the energy that it had taken from her, caught up with her and she swayed on her feet. She lowered herself into a nearby chair and waited for the lightheadedness to leave. When it did, she stood up and stared at the now sleeping Darien with love in her eyes. Then she kissed the tips of her fingers and reached out and touched his lips with them. He moved his head slightly at her touch and she smiled. Then she left the room, just as the nurses began to run in and check what they didn't think was possible. Serena just smiled as she walked out of the hospital and into the night.

Ice Princess - Chapter 5
by Athena

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Two days later, Serena walked down the hospital corridor to the room in which Darien had been moved. Ami had insisted on keeping Darien for observation since no one could explain his miraculous recovery. Serena slowed as she apprached the door and could hear voices of the other Scouts and Guards inside the room. She stopped just short of the door entrance and stared down at the red roses in her arms. She knew that once she entered that door that her life would be forever changed. She had managed to put off the Scouts and Guards questions for two days with the excuse that they wait for Darien because she didn't want to explain everything twice. But now, Luna had told her to meet them all at the hospital, that Darien was strong enough now to have visitors and everyone was ready for the truth. She sighed, a mixture of fear and relief flooding her as she stood there. Fear for her friends once they learned the truth, for she felt that anyone that trully got close to her got hurt or killed. Relief because she finally didn't have to face this alone anymore. Then, after getting her emotions in check, she raised her head and walked into the room with a shy smile on her face.

No one noticed Serena right away, so she stood at the door, enjoying just observing them. Then Darien's eyes met Serena's and everyone turned to look at her all at once. For the first time in her life, Serena had stage fright. She seemed rooted to the spot for a moment and then remembered the flowers in her arms. Hesitantly, she walked over to Darien and gently placed the roses on his lap and in a shy voice said,

"These are for you. Something tells me that they are your favorite." He just gave her what he considered to be his most dazzling smile and said,

"Thank you, for everything." she just smiled back and then turned to the group at large and said,

"Well I guess that I might as well get this show on the road since you've all waited patiently for two days. Please shut the door, the whole hospital doesn't need to hear this." she waited as Ami turned to do as she asked and then she sat on the edge of the bed and sighed,

"O.k, well the short and long of it is that I am the Moon Princess.." Raye cut her off here with one of her usual flippant remarks,

"So tell us something that we don't know." Serena just sighed instead of getting upset and then wearly said,

"I am trying to Raye if you'd only be quiet." Raye actually had the grace to look embarrassed and said,

"Sorry. Just trying to break the tension in here." she said and Jason came over and put a reassuring arm around her shoulder. Serena surprised everyone by smiling at her and then she continued,

"As I said, I am the Moon Princess. Our enemy is known as Prince Diamond of the Dark Moon Family on the planet of Nemesis. He's been after me for some time now."

"How long is 'sometime now'?" Marcus asked.

"Two years. He first found me when I was still living in America. He followed me here."

"So what does he want?" Nicholas asked.

"Me." A chorus of gasps and "Whats?" filled the room. It was Darien who brought order to the cofusion by simply raising his hand. Everyone was quiet and Darien quietly asked her,

"What do you mean?" Serena just shrugged and said,

"Just that, he wants me. I've been told the he is from the future and that he fell in love with me then, but I wouldn't have him, because I was already married. But that didn't matter, he had to have me. I've been told that he kidnapped me a few times, but I was always rescued by the Scouts and my future husband. So when that didn't work, he came back to the past to try and steal me here. Somehow, he figured out my real identity based on what I looked like in the future. Remember how I wore my hair in the Olympics? The two ponytails with the balls? Well I use to wear my hair like that all the time and apparently still did in the future. Well anyway that's how he found me." she paused now, not ready to go on just yet, to relive memories that she has been trying to forget.

"So then what happened?" Asked an impatient Lita. Darien gave her a hard look because he could feel Serena's anguish and fear. Reaching out, he covered her hands with one of his and gave her a reassuring squeeze. Then Serena continued,

"Then he sent his brother.....Sapphire....to find out as much as he could about me. It just so happens that my own personal trainer had quit and I needed a new one. So Sapphire got the job. I was with him everyday and he was so easy and fun to talk to that I found myself telling him everything about my life, with the exception of being Sailor Moon, of course. See back then I didn't yet know that I was the Moon Princess, it wasn't until.... later did I find that out. But he knew and he reported everything that I told him back to his brother. The funny thing was that he and I fell in love. But by then, it was too late, Diamond already had the information he needed to destroy me....and he almost did...." Again Serena was silent. Hot tears now streamed down her cheeks. Everyone waited breathlessly for her to finish. Again Darien squeezed her hands and even though he was reeling inside from knowing that she had loved another once, he gently urged her,

"What happened then? How did he almost destroy you?" Serena still sat silent for a moment longer and then she sniffed and looked up at him and said,

"He had my family killed." Nothing could have prepared him for that. His gasp was every bit as loud as everyone else's in the room. His family had died in a car crash when he was young, but he didn't remember them or losing them, he had amnesia. He felt a sense of loss, but nothing like what she had experienced. The only person in the room who could relate to her was Lita, whose own parents were killed in a plane crash when she was a teenager. Lita was now openly weeping into Nicholas's arms, as if her own wounds had been reopened by Serena's story.

Darien had pulled Serena back against him now and was rocking her back and forth as she continued,

"Oh God, it was awful! They were suppose to be coming to see me at a competition. I remember being really worried that they hadn't come to see me before I performed. They always did. But I thought that maybe they got in late and would see me afterwards. I never once sensed their danger or their deaths. The ironic thing was, that it was, at the time, the best performance of my life....It wasn't until about an hour after the competition had ended did the police come and tell me that they had been killed. Someone had broken into the house and killed them as they were leaving for the show."

The room was silent again except for a for sobbing sounds coming from the women of the room. After a moment, Darien asked her,

"But how did you know that it was this Diamond?" Serena sat up now and wiped the tears from her face before continuing,

"Because at the funeral, well after it, Sapphire told me everything. At first I was shocked...I almost didn't believe him, but then he gave me proof that I couldn't dispute. Then I was so angry that I wanted to kill him. I refused to see him after that. He begged and pleadded with me for forgiveness, saying that he didn't know that this is what his brother had in mind. That he really loved me and was even willing to leave his brother and time to be with me forever, but I wouldn't believe him. This went on for about a week. Then Diamond attacked. He knew that I was weak and he had found out about Sapphire and I and was furious. During the battle he declared that if he couldn't have me then no one would. I was in bad shape. I remember thinking that I didn't have any strength left to repel the next attack. In a way, I sorta welcomed the thought of dying, at least I'd see my family again. But then when the attack came and I didn't feel it, I looked up to see that Sapphire had thrown himself in front of me and had taken the brunt of the attack. Diamond was so mad that he threw another ball of energy at us and Sapphire again took it all. In that instant, I knew that he did love me. I remember screaming his name and Diamond just looking at us. Then he turned and disappeared muttering something about the traitor getting what he deserved.....Sapphire died in my arms....I..I couldn't save him....I didn't have the crystal yet...I didn't have the power yet..."

The room was again still as everyone absorbed everything that Serena had just told them. Finally Ami asked,

"Was it you and the crytal then that healed Darien? I mean, that's why we can't explain it."

"Yes Ami, I did use the crystal on Darien. That hag that attacked us was known as Emerald..she was one of Diamond's henchmen. When I got there and saw what she had done and that she was going after Darien, something in me just snapped...I lost it...All I could think of was Sapphire and losing him and that pain and I couldn't lose Darien too. That attack is my most powerful and I usually only performed it as the Moon Princess. So I do remember wondering if it would even work as Sailor Moon...In a way, I'm glad that this happened, at least I know that if I need it, I can use it without becoming the princess." she said with a slight smile.

The room was quiet now. Then finally, Marcus took control of the group by saying,

"Well I think that's enough for one day. Why don't we all go home and sleep on it and then we'll get together tomorrow when Darien is released and discuss our options." Everyone agreed that that was the best thing to do and headed for the door calling good-bye to Darien and Serena as they left.

Serena and Darien sat alone in the silence for a moment, Serena staring at her hands and Darien staring at her. Finally, Serena stood up and said,

"Well, I better go. I have to try to get this new routine together before next Friday." she turned to leave, but Darien reached out quickly and grabbed her arm. She looked back at him questioningly,

"Don't leave yet. I want to talk to you now that we are alone." Serena nodded and turned to sit in a chair by the bed that had recently been vacated. Darien frowned at the loss of warmth and by how far away she was now. They stared at each other for another moment, then Darien said,

"Well, I guess I have my own confession to make." She looked at him in confusion as he continued, "I am the Prince of Earth. It is my destiny to be with the Princess of the Moon." she smiled softly at him and said,

"I know." Now Darien was surprised and asked,

"What did you know, all or part?"

"All."

"Then why have you been avoiding me?? Why were you ever in love with anyone else???" he cried out, not able to keep the anguish from his voice.

"Oh Darien, I didn't know about you or us when I was with Sapphire. All I knew was that I had special....gifts. I had no clue about all of this. As for avoiding you and putting you through hell, well I guess that was my pride."

"What??"

"I didn't like the way that you had me reveal that I was Sailor Moon. I felt trapped and I didn't like it. I know, I know...you did give me a chance to tell you, but I wanted to tell you on my own time. I realized how wrong I had been immediately after our little confrontation at the Temple that night, but like I said, my pride got in the way....I'm sorry."

He was silent as he took in what she said. He watched as she fidgeted in her seat. It was obvious that the subject was making her uncomfortable. Then he asked her,

"Well, what about now? Are you gonna tell me that you don't have feelings for me after everything that has just happened?"

"Well, that all depends." she answered cryptically.

"On what?" he asked, now a little annoyed that she was starting to play some game again.

"On whether or not you cared for me before you found out that I was Sailor Moon. Do you care for me because it's your destiny or because you always have?" he just smiled at her, there was understanding and love in his eyes as he said,

"I loved you from the first moment that I saw you skate at the Olympics." Serena broke out into a huge smile, she couldn't help it. The loneliness and despair that she had been caring around for over a year suddenly melted away and a warm fuzzy feeling took its place. She was unware of the tears that now ran down her face, but Darien did and quietly said as he reached out to wipe away her tears,

"Don't cry, little girl....I'll love you forever." With that said, Serena threw herself into his arms and Darien crushed her to him, neither taking notice of the delicate flowers that they were now destroying. He held her like that for a long time.

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Ice Princess - Chapter 6
by Athena

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The next evening, the Scouts, Guards, and Darien were all gathered at the Temple. They had purposely told Serena to meet them an hour later than they all had agreed to meet. They wanted a chance to discuss everything that she had told them the previous day without her being there. The group now looked to Darien for direction since their princess was not present. The hour went by quickly and Darien immediately called a halt to the discussion as he felt Serena near. A few moments later, there was a soft knock on the door and Raye stood to let Serena in. At seeing everyone already there, Serena looked at her watch and then asked with concern,

"Oh no, am I late?? I'm sorry, I just had to get some extra time on my new routine and...." Darien softly interrupted her and said,

"No, you're on time. We just got here a little early, that's all." she looked surprised for a moment and then shrugged. Then she came into the room and took the empty seat next to him and smiled at him and said,

"It's nice to see you looking so well again." He smiled back and said,

"Thanks to you." and place a kiss on the tip of her nose. She immediately began to blush and leave it to Jason to spoil the moment by saying,

"O.k. enough already, I'm gonna be sick." Darien just laughed and Serena rolled her eyes thinking what a perfect match he was for Raye.

"O.k. then folks, have we got a plan of action yet?" Serena asked the group at large. A few ideas were tossed out and discussed. But it was to be Serena's final decision now that there was no disputing her role as leader, not to mention the fact that she knew the most about their enemy. Serena sighed now, all of the ideas had merit, but she knew that the true solution to the problem was to draw Diamond out of his time and into their time and have the battle take place here. Taking the battle to Diamond as the others wanted would be too dangerous. None of them had any clue as to how powerful Diamond would be in his own time on his own turf. So it was with that in mind that she said,

"Guys, that's all well and good, but I don't think that we can take the battle to Diamond. We have no idea how powerful he is in his own environment. I think what we need to do is draw him here." Discussion burst forth now, but Ami motioned for silence and then asked,

"That's really true, Serena. I for one never thought of that. But the real question is, how do we get him to come here?" Serena smiled and said,

"Live bait." there were a bunch of 'Huhs?' going around, but Darien immediately knew what she meant and said,

"Absolutely not. I forbid it!" the others looked at him in shock. Never had he been so adament about something. But Serena looked up at him and said,

"It's the only way."

"No!"

"Uh, excuse me?" Lita interrupted them, "but would you two mind letting us in on this conversation?"

"Serena wants to use herself as bait." Darien answered and everyone but Raye quickly agreed with him, but Raye said,

"I think that she's right guys." Everyone now looked at Raye as if she lost her mind and Mina said,

"I know that you aren't wild about her Raye, but I never realized that it ran deep enough that you'd like to see her killed." Raye turned deep red and said in a soft but firm voice,

"I never said that I didn't like her....in fact I'd give my own life for hers. She's my Princess afterall. But I have to agree with her and not because she's my Princess either. She's right. Think about it, how can anyone but her lure Diamond out when it's her that he wants??" Everyone was silent, they knew that she was right, but that didn't make them accept it any easier either. So it was Marcus that now said,

"So what's the plan?"

"I go to Nemesis and I issue Diamond a challenge that he can't refuse." Serena said.

"NO!" Darien yelled. But now, Marcus took up the battle for her and said,

"It's a good plan, Darien, you know that it has to be done." Darien was silent for a moment and then growled out,

"Fine, then I go with her." The others all agreed and before Serena could say anything, Lita cut her off by saying,

"Hey wait! He's in the future, right? So how are you gonna get there?" The others, including Darien, looked at Serena in question and so she said,

"First, Darien you can't come." Darien began to protest, but she cut him off and continued, "You can't. The type of challenge I'm gonna issue won't go over well with you there. But don't worry I won't go alone. I'm going to take the person that's going to get me there." Darien pouted, but said nothing. Nicholas asked the next question,

"So once you do get there, what's going to stop him from keeping you there?" Another round of agreement went through the group. Serena just smiled and simply said,

"Sailor Pluto." Again, the group was puzzled. Who was Sailor Pluto they all wanted to know, but Luna spoke now,

"Ah yes, good thinking Serena. She'll make sure that you get in and out of there with no harm....But she's not going to like interferring like this. You know how she can get." Serena just nodded at Luna and then said,

"O.k. so when do we want to do this?" But Mina stood up now and waved her hands and said,

"Wait a minute! I am so confused! WHO is this Sailor Pluto and why can only she help you???"

"Good question!!!" Jason shouted. Serena just rolled her eyes, Of course they wouldn't know about Sailor Pluto, she thought. She waited for Mina to sit back down before she answered,

"Sailor Pluto is the Guardian of Time. She's the one Sailor Scout who must always remain alone because her post is to guard the Gates of Time and to make sure that the time line never gets altered. She can open the gates of time at her wish. That is why I will take her. She can open a gate for me to get there and then make sure that it remains open while I am there. I believe that she can basically let me off in his bedroom if that's where I wish it. Plus she can protect me back with her own powers....if she desires it, she does have the power to stop time."

"Then why do you think that she will give you a hard time about helping you?" Darien asked.

"Because Pluto feels that no one should know too much about their future. Also because she really isn't suppose to interfere in anyway. But I'll convince her. So when and where do we want Diamond to meet us?" she asked again. The room was quiet and then Darien said,

"I think that it should take place as soon as possible. Before he has a chance to get himself together and come after US when we aren't ready for it." Serena looked around the room for confirmation and when she got it she said,

"O.K. I'll go to Diamond now and tell him to meet us in the Park, tomorrow at midnight. The park will be deserted and no innocents will get hurt." Everyone again nodded. Then Serena took a deep breath and stood up, but Darien stopped her from going any further when he reached out and grabbed her hand. She looked back at him and she could see the fear in his eyes. She smiled at him and said,

"Don't worry, I'll be back. In the end, Pluto will do my bidding." But he just shook his head at her. Then he too stood up, wrapped his arms around her and crushed her to him. Then he kissed her as if it might be the last time he ever would. When they parted, she looked up into his eyes and smiled. Then she turned and surprised everyone by calling out her transformation,

"Moon Crystal Power!!"

In a flash of silver light and black ribbons, Sailor Moon appeared. She stood for a moment, with her long staff in hand, and stared at everyone. She wanted one last look at them especially Darien, because she too doubted that she would return. Then a small key suddenly appeared in her free hand. Everyone gasped as she called out,

"Sailor Pluto, Guardian of Time, open the gates of time for me! Crystal Key Power!"

A strong wave of power surged through the room, knocking all of the occupants other than Sailor Moon off of their feet. It was almost as if they were trapped in a wind tunnel. Darien screamed Serena's name, he didn't like this. Something felt wrong, but then in a flash of light, Sailor Moon was gone.

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Serena walked through the swirling mist of Pluto's home. Up ahead was a large dark object that she knew was the gate of time. Quickly she called out to Sailor Pluto announcing her presence. The last time that she had come to see Pluto, she didn't announce herself and the fog had hidden her idenity and Pluto had almost killed her, for tresspassers were not permitted at the Gates of Time. She called out to Pluto again and this time, Pluto appeared before her.

"My Queen, I have been expecting you." Serena smiled at her friend and said,

"Good, then I don't have to talk you into anything then do I?" Pluto gave her a hard look and said,

"I am only helping because if I didn't the timeline would be forever altered and I cannot allow that." Serena simply nodded her head and said,

"Shall we?" Pluto nodded and then used her Time Key Staff to activate the gate. She and Pluto stepped through the gate together and walked down a long corridor. At the end of this corridor was a door. Serena stopped just at the door and took a deep breath. Pluto looked at her and asked,

"Are you ready?" Serena nodded and said,

"Yes. Where are we coming out at?" Pluto smiled and said,

"I thought that the throne room would be more appropriate than his bedroom. My Queen, you will only have a few short minutes. That is all the longer that I can keep a gate open without any risk." Serena nodded again and said,

"Let's go." Pluto nodded and again used her staff to open the gate. A blinding light appeared with the opening of the door and then she could see into Diamond's throne room. He was there, sitting on his throne, holding a glass of wine. He had just noticed the portal. With her head held high, Serena walked through.

Diamond had been sitting on his throne, trying to plan an attack that would ensure him Serena when all of a sudden a portal opened up in his throne room and then through the portal came Sailor Moon. He could hardly believe his eyes as she stood there before him looking like the proud beauty that he knew so well from this time. He finally found his voice and said,

"Well, well. It looks like I don't have to come for you afterall." Serena kept her head held high and with as much authority as she could muster in her voice she said,

"Diamond, I have come to issue you a challenge." Diamond raised an eyebrow and said,

"Oh really? And what would that be?"

"That you meet me and my guard at midnight tomorrow night in the park in my time. It's the battle that will end all battles. If I win, you will be destroyed." His voice was like silk as he said,

"And if I win?" Serena swallowed hard and thought, Forgive me, Darien, and said,

"You get me." Again Diamond raised his eyebrow. In Serena's mind, Pluto was urging her to hurry. Serena acknowledged it by saying,

"So what's it gonna be, Diamond?" He responded by asking,

"What's to stop me from keeping you now?" Pluto, now! Serena's mind screamed Then out of nowhere, both Serena and Diamond heard,

"Dead Scream!" a ball of green energy came streaking out of the portal and hit Diamond before he had a chance to react. He screamed and then said through clenched teeth,

"Very well. I'll meet you, but I warn you, I shall win." Serena gave him a mocking bow and said as she stepped back into the portal,

"We shall see." Just as she was through, the portal slammed shut and Pluto was glaring at her. Serena ignored her though and started to walk back in the direction from which they came. When the door to her time opened, instead of being back in Pluto's realm, Serena appeared back at the Temple.

Everyone was already gone and the Temple was dark. Quickly she detransformed and quietly left the Temple. Immediately, she could sense Darien's fear and anguish, which she assumed was over her being gone. She decided that she would go to him now and be with him this one night before the battle was to take place, because either they would win tomorrow or she would die trying. But one thing was certain, Diamond would not have her.

She pulled into the parking garage at Darien's building and parked. Quickly she got out and went up the elevator to Darien floor. Once she reached his door, she stopped to listen before knocking. She could hear the t.v. on inside. Then it was with a shaking hand that she reached up and knocked on the door.

Darien jumped at the knock at his door. Immediately he felt Serena's presence on the other side. He practically flew across the room to open the door. The moment he did, he didn't even hesitate as he pulled Serena into the apartment and then into his arms.

He was practically crushing her, but she didn't mind, it just felt so good to be held by him. She was even comforted when he growled into her hair,

"If you ever leave me behind again, I swear, I'll kill you myself!" Her only response was to pull away enough to stand on her tip toes to kiss him. Darien groaned as his lips met hers. It was a kiss that seared each of them to their souls. They clunge to each other now as if they had been separated for years instead of hours. Then, without even breaking the kiss, Darien reached down and swung Serena up and into his arms and carried her back to his bedroom.

Ice Princess - Chapter 7
by Athena

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Slowly Serena, slid to a stop on the ice. It was well past eleven at night so the rink had long since been deserted for the night. But Serena was happy for the solitude. She came to the rink about an hour ago to think and relax. Skating was the one place on earth that she found total happiness. But now, as the minutes slowly ticked away and the time to meet Diamond drew closer, she could not seem to find the inner peace that skating usually gave her. Now at a complete stop, she looked around at the ice, not really seeing it as her mind once again drifted to the impending battle.

It was going to be a tough battle...the toughest any of them have ever fought in their lives. Truth was, she was abolutely terrified. She didn't want anyone to die, especially herself. Not now, not after she had finally put her life back together and had found people that loved her and that she loved in return. But she couldn't help to be frightened. It wasn't going to be a fair fight. But then again, it never was when the Negaverse was involved. But that's not what scared her. No, what scared her was the power force that lay behind Diamond. She was fairly certain that she could defeat Diamond, but her gut instinct told her that there was more to Diamond and his powers than just what appeared on the surface. It was the unknown that was the deadliest. It was the unknown that frightened her to death.

Serena looked down at her watch. Eleven forty-five. She had better get herself on over to the Park. They were all just going to meet at the entrance and then go on in and wait for Diamond. She sighed as she took one last look at the ice in front of her and then she raised her fingers to her lips, kissed them and then gestured farewell to her first love for what she figured would be the last time. Then she turned and disappeared into the silence.

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Tuxedo Mask was worriedly pacing in front of the entrance to the park while the others stood there watching him. They were waiting on Sailor Moon and there was still no sign of her. Finally, unable to watch Tuxedo Mask continue his pace, Sailor Mars said,

"Enough already, Darien. You're making me sick." Darien just glared at her, but did stop his pacing. He huffed again as he looked at his watch, just where was she anyway? Then, there was a sudden sparkle of silver light and Sailor Moon materialized in front of them looking grim. Darien was so relieved to see her that he growled,

"Just where the hell have you been?" Sailor Moon didn't bother to look at him as she responded,

"I was at the rink." But she said no more. Her senses were already attuned to a large amount of dark energy materializing in the park. She knew that Darien was in the middle of reading her the riot act, but she merely held up a hand and he stopped his tirade as she said,

"He's here." Then without another word she started to walk into the park. No one said a word as they followed their leader into the park. It seemed as if no one dared to breathe because the air was eerily silent and still.

When they reached the clearing next to the lake, Sailor Moon stopped. She stood still for a moment and then she gasped as she was hit with an invisible wave of negative energy.

"Sailor Moon? What's wrong?" Tuxedo Mask asked, his concern evident. But she didn't have to answer because suddenly, Diamond appeared before them, floating high above them. He looked down on his prey and made a tsking noise as he addressed Sailor Moon.

"Sailor Moon," he drawled out, "I'm disappointed in you. I thought that this was to be a challenge between the two of us. What's the matter, are you afraid that you can't beat me without your friends?"

Sailor Moon growled with frustration and then forced herself to calm down. She couldn't let her emotions get out of control now, she needed to focus on him. So it was with strained sweetness that she said,

"Of course not, they are just here to ensure a fair battle. After all, I don't want to be double crossed and have one of you lackies show up to help you win."

Behind her though, Tuxedo Mask grabbed her and turned her around to face him. Then he fairly yelled at her when he said,

"If you think that I am gonna let you face him alone, you're crazy!" The others nodded their agreement. But Sailor Moon just smiled at him and said,

"Just watch my back." And then she disappeared. The others called out her name and she instantly reappeared only feet in front of Diamond, now hovering in the air as well.

"Shall we?" she asked, her large staff raised in a battle stance.

Diamond just grinned, but he didn't even raise a hand. Instead, the dark moon on his forehead turned into a third eye and he said,

"You are a fool, Sailor Moon. I'll defeat you simply by using my powers of persuasion on you. Afterall, it is me that you love. You want to be my Queen."

Sailor Moon couldn't move. She felt the icy fingers of his black powers reach her and envelope her. Her mind screamed agaist the intrusion. Somewhere, she thought that she heard the others screaming her name, but she couldn't be sure. She felt heavy. Vaguely she heard Diamond laughing in the far off distance and something about a double cross being yelled, but she couldn't be sure. Part of her mind knew that she had to resist him, but the other part wondered what to resist. Serena began to feel herself give into his power when suddenly, Sapphire appeared and held out his hand to her. She was so surprised that she smiled.

"Sapphire?" she asked in wonder. The vision of Sapphire smiled at her and then said,

"You must fight him, darling. You're strong enough. Take my hand and trust me."

Serena stared at him for another moment and then reached out to him. The moment her hand made contact with his, Diamond's hold on her vanished and Serena's head cleared immediately. Diamond screamed with frustration.

"No! This can't be! You were under my control."

But Sailor Moon merely smiled a deadly smile at him and said,

"No, you can't control me. There's no love there and love is the only force that can conquer me!" With that said, she swung her glaive around and called out,

"Moon Distortion Strike!"

Diamond, still shocked that his control had been broken, screamed as the distortion waves rocked him. He raised his hands and sent out a blast of energy at her. She stood still and held her glaive out in front of her, silently whispering the words that would cause her glaive to absorb the dark energy and then redirect it back at him. Diamond screamed as he was hit by his own black energy. Sailor Moon raised her glaive to call out a final attack, but was interrupted by the sudden appearance of a hooded figure.

"You are a useless fool, Diamond." Diamond and Sailor Moon both gasped at the dark figure and Diamond raised his hand in a pleading gesture and said,

"Please Wiseman, I can win this battle. Please give me a chance."

"No Diamond! I've had it with you and all of your failures! You couldn't hurt a fly. No begone!!!!" Wiseman sent a dark blast of energy from his crystal ball and Diamond screamed as the black energy destroyed him. With his last breath Diamond looked over at Sailor Moon and said,

"I did love you." Then he closed his eyes and fell to the earth below. A moment later, his body disappeared in a sparkle of white light.

Sailor Moon continued to float where she had been, stunned again as she stared at where Diamond had been. He loved her? she thought. Was it possible for someone as evil as Diamond to love? But her thoughts were interrupted by someone calling out her name. She looked down and saw that the others were currently engaged in a huge battle with demons that had to have been sent by the Wiseman. Sailor Moon blinked and then reality came crashing back as she was hit by a blast from the Wiseman. She screamed and fell to the earth below and landed with a thud. The Wiseman's evil laughter drowned out Tuxedo Mask's call to her. Now as she laid on the ground, the Wiseman came to hover above her and said,

"You too are a fool, Sailor Moon. Now I will beat you and then destroy this miserable planet and then silence shall remain!!!"

He raised his crystal ball to deliver the death blow, but what he failed to notice was the small crescent moon that was already blazing on Sailor Moon's forehead. And before he could release the energy, Sailor Moon lept to her feet and said,

"I don't think so......COSMIC MOON POWER!!!!!!"

The crescent moon pulsed on her forehead and then the blinding light burst forth from it as the power from the crystal was released and arced towards the Wiseman. But he only laughed as he released his own dark attack on her. The two forms of good and evil clashed and caused a great rumble. The others had just finished off the last of the demons and were now watching the two warriors do battle for the ultimate victory. Meanwhile, Sailor Moon felt her energy rapidly draining. The dark energy of the Wiseman was strong, stronger than she thought possible. She realized that this had been her fear.....not enough power to defeat the pure form of evil that she had known that was lurking in the background. Her mind flew rapidly, searching for suggestions as she willed more of her own life force into the power of the crystal. Then it came to her.....the other scouts had power of their own and combined with hers, it would be invincible. Quickly she called out to the scouts telepathically,

"Sailor Scouts.....HELP ME! I need your power."

The girls stood stunned for a moment, just staring at Sailor Moon and watching as the dark energy was getting dangerously closer to her. Meanwhile, Tuxedo Mask was half out of his mind with frustration, grief and worry. Then he turned with a frantic look at the others and said,

"WE have to do something! She's not strong enough."

His statement seemed to snap the scouts out of their stunned state because they all nodded and Jupiter said,

"RIGHT!!"

Tuxedo Mask and the Guard all gasped in surprise when the remaining scouts all joined hands in a circle and called out,

"Mercury Star Power!"
"Mars Star Power!"
"Jupiter Star Power!"
"Venus Star Power!"

They watched as the energy from each all joined and then raced towards Sailor Moon. Once Sailor Moon felt their energy hit her, smiled and called out,

"Cosmic Moon Power Unite!"

There was another burst of white energy and the joined powers of all the scouts now easily drove through the dark power from the Wiseman and enveloped him in its light. He screamed as the raw power of pure light and goodness over took him.

"NOOOOO! This can't be!!! I am unstoppable!!!!"

And then he was gone.

Everything was still for a moment as they all took in the battle. Then the spell was broken and they all ran for Sailor Moon for a group hug. Tears of joy streamed down faces of both man and woman alike. No one was immune to the great sense of joy and relief that now swept through them. Tuxedo Mask swept Sailor Moon up in his arms and swung her around. They both laughed gaily, but when Tuxedo Mask set Sailor Moon down, her knees buckled and her eyes rolled back and she collasped as the strain from using the crystal.

"Serena!! Serena, answer me!!" Darien screamed as he shook her trying to elicit a response from her, but none came.

*********************************

She couldn't hear him. The blackness that had claimed her now turned as bright as a warm sunny day. Dazed, Serena walked slowly through what could only be described as clouds, but soon the sounds of children's laughter reached her. Curious, she hurried along to find the source of the sound. Suddenly, the clouds cleared and she found herself standing in the middle of a playground. However, it wasn't any ordinary playground. Everything around her was white and shimmered a golden color as the sun shone upon its surface. There were no children playing though. It should have been an eery sight, but strangely, it wasn't. It felt safe, warm and....like home. Slowly Serena walked over to an empty swing, sat down on it and unconsciously began to push herself back and forth as she continued to look around.

"Hello, Serena."

The sudden male voice startled her and she quickly stood up and whirled around to confront him. But when she realized who was standing behind her, she gasped in surprised and then ran directly into his arms.

"Sapphire!" she breathed.

He hugged her back tightly and held her for a moment before kissing the top of her head and then releasing her. Serena smiled happily back up at him and said,

"I can't believe it's you! What are you doing here? I mean, today you helped me defeat Diamond. How could you do that? I mean, are you still dead? You're not, right?? You came back!"

Sapphire smiled down at her, but there was sadness in his smile as he said,

"My beautiful Serena.... No, I am not back again. I was able to help you today because your subconscious called upon my memory to help you fight off my brother's power. As you said to him, there was no love there between the two of you, but there was love between you and I and it was that love that was able to break the spell."

Serena looked confused and asked,

"But...how are you here now? Is...is this a dream?"

Sadly Sapphire shook his head and said,

"No Serena....this isn't a dream."

"But..."

"Serena...you used up all of your power in the battle with the wiseman...."

Serena just stared at him a moment and then she gasped as she brought her hand to cover her mouth and then the tears started to flow as she said,

"You mean...you mean that I'm...I'm..." but she couldn't finish the sentence. Sapphire slowly nodded. He let Serena cry for a moment before he said,

"I have come to offer you a choice....either I can escort you to the other side, where we can be together......Or I can take you back. It's your choice Serena. It wasn't your time yet, but you have fought a hard battle and.... I miss you."

Serena mind whirled with the information that he had just given her. She looked up into his blue eyes, eyes that had invaded her dreams every night since he was killed, that is until she met......Darien. Darien. How could she have forgotten about him?? He needed her, didn't he?

In response to her inner turmoil, some of the shimmering color of the playground melted away and an image from earth was revealled to her. Serena's heart ached at the sight she saw. She saw Darien craddling her lifeless body, clutching it to himself as he cried and begged her to return to him. Tears slowly started to stream down her face again. She saw her friends crying next to him as well. How could she let all of that go, when she finally just found it again?

The image disappeared and Sapphire quietly said,

"He's waiting."

She looked up at him through her tears and said,

"I'm sorry, Sapphire, but....I have to go."

"I know.....Serena, I'll always love you."

"And I'll always love you."

They enbraced once again and then suddenly the blackness claimed her once again.

*********************************

"Serena....please, Serena...don't leave me..."

Darien's heart breaking plea filled the air. A small hand reached out to touch him on the shoulder. Darien looked up into the tear stained face of Sailor Mercury, but she wasn't looking at him, she was looking at Serena.

"I'm sorry Darien, but...she's...."

"No! I refuse to believe that!"

Darien exploded at her. Sailor Mercury shrank back and into the comforting embrace of Zoicite's arms as she watched Darien hysterically rock Serena's lifeless body back and forth. She had to look away...it was just too much for her.

Serena had the sudden awareness of being crushed. She felt smothered too. She was dire need of fresh air. She tried to push against whatever was crushing her, but she was so weak that she was barely able to lift her arm off the ground. She felt sleep threatening to over take her again, but the need to get whatever was crushing her was greater than her need to sleep. So she tried to yell for help, but all that came out was an almost inaudible groan. She prayed that someone would find her soon, but then the crushing force was lifted and she thought that she heard someone call her name.

Darien stared down at Serena in shock. There was hope in his blue eyes as he gently shook her and called her name again. He knew that he wasn't dreaming when he heard her groan.

"Serena?? Can you hear me?" He called silently again.

The others just looked at him as if he had finally lost his mind in his grief. Malachite reached out and put a hand on him now and said,

"Darien, she's gone. Let her go."

But Darien just shrugged his hand off and was about to call her name again when she suddenly flinched. Everyone gasped and held their breath...waiting. She groaned again this time and tried to raise her hand, but again, it barely moved from the ground. It was all the proof that they needed. Everyone started cheering at once and Darien was once again crushing her to him. Mercury suddenly appeared again by him and forced him to lie her down so that she could check her readings again. There were fresh tears in her eyes, but a smile on her face when she said,

"Guys...I don't understand it....but she's back!!"

Suddenly, Serena began to cough. It was a bone jarring cough that shook her whole body and Darien grabbed her to help her sit up. As soon as she was seated upright, they heard her take a huge gasp of air and saw her eyes fly open. She looked frantically around and the coughing ceased her again. It was as if she had just started breathing again after drowning. Finally the coughing subsided and she looked around at the stunned faces of her friends. Suddenly, she felt weak as a kitten and fell back into Darien's arms, but smiled and said,

"Hi guys."

It came out as a weak whisper, but it was there all the same. Everyone moved at once to hug her. Serena was too weak to hug them all back, but she was just happy to be there. Suddenly she remembered everything.... the battle, Sapphire and her choice. She smiled again and looked up at Darien and whispered,

"I just couldn't leave you. I had to come back."

Confusion masked Darien's handsome features as he continued to look at her, but she had closed her eyes and had fallen asleep. He watched as her mind finally let go of her transformation and her human form lay craddled in his arms. He smiled and kissed her on the forehead as he stood up with her in his arms and started out of the park with the others following in his wake.

***********************************

Two days later, Serena was in bed, propped up on pillows, waiting for Darien to return with her dinner. She actually felt fine and was more than ready to get out of bed, but it made Darien feel better that she was taking one more day to recouperate. She smiled at him as he walked in with a tray of food. He placed the tray down on the small night stand next to the bed, but she stopped him when he tried to feed her.

"Darien, I'm not crippled. As a matter of fact, I'm fine."

"Serena, we've already discussed this and you are going to stay in bed until tomorrow."

"Fine, but I can feed myself."

He smiled and handed the bowl to her. She gently patted the spot next to her, indicating for him to sit next to her on the bed, but he gently shook his head and said,

"No, I'd rather look at you." she laughed and said,

"Oh good. Just what I want you to see too. Me stuffing my face."

But he just laughed and watched in silence for a few moments. Then he reached out and gently pushed some stray hair off of her face. His expression was very somber as he gently stroked her leg through the blanket. Quietly, Serena turned and put her bowl back down on the night stand and said,

"Darien, what's wrong?" He just shrugged in response.

"Come on....tell me." He sighed heavily and then said,

"I was just thinking that....I...almost lost you...That is, you did..."

She reached out and covered his hand with her own and waited for him to look at her. When he did, she told him the story of what had happened and how she was given a choice. When she finished her story, he looked stunned. Then he quietly said,

"You mean that you actually chose to be with me instead of him?" she smiled at him and said,

"Of course I did. Darien, I'll always have a special place in my heart for him...after all, he was my first love. But Darien, I've loved you for a lifetime, more than a lifetime......I belong here with you and the others. Nothing is ever going to keep us apart again....I promise."

"I love you." he quietly said.

Then he leaned over to kiss her.

She met him halfway.

Their love was forever.

The End

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