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 The Second Chance

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PostSubject: The Second Chance   15th April 2013, 6:59 am

The Second Chance

Chapter One

"Serena, watch out!"

Those were the last words I hear as my body crumbled to the pavement. The colors of the road and moving vehicles swirl as my knees grow weak, falling beneath me. The pain fills my nerves. A twisting, agonizing knot resides in my stomach. My flesh feels engraved with cuts and black gravel, and a loud humming sings through my head.

Raindrops and dirt cover my body. I notice a slice on the left side of my torso. My school girl blouse seems to be splattered with blood. So much blood that I feel as if I am going to throw up just looking at it…I am losing too much blood.

"Serena! What happened to you?" I hear Raye and Amy cry from the arcade doors. I can see the fear in their eyes. Fear for me. But I don't feel frightened. In fact, I'm not scared at all.

I try to open my mouth to speak, but no words come out. Slowly my head becomes dizzy, and my body numbs. Almost instantly after the numbness begins my eyes retire into an involuntary sleep, and I am lost to the world around me.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

I hear knocking against wood. The sound is aggravating, annoying, and so completely intolerable.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

I want to scream at the tapper! I'm not ready to wake up yet, but with such despicable noise, I will never be able to get back to sleep.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

I need to tell this person to stop. It is annoying to listen to the thunderous sounds of knuckles clanking against wooden tables.

As I allow my eyes to flutter open, I realize that the source of the sound is coming from a young man sitting in the corner of the room. He is staring at his hands, seemingly lost in his own little world. I study him, noticing the grim expression on his face. Noticing the way his dark locks flow so perfectly atop his head. He looks just like a prince hiding in unfortunate clothing; a black turtle neck sweater underneath a pea green jacket with gray slacks.

Tap…

Tap…..

"Stop it!" I cry at him. Surprise radiates across his magnificent facial features before he hesitantly drops his hands into his lap.

"I fidget- when I'm nervous, I mean." He smiles at me, with embarrassment clearly showing across his cheeks in the form of red blossoms. "I…I feel so terrible about what happened the other day."

I stare at him quizzically. I don't know this man. I stare at him twirling his finger over his right knee. He sure fidgets a lot, though. However, if I'm being completely honest with myself…was I even sure who I…?

"Oh, no!" I gasp. I glance towards him with fear and sadness very apparent on my face, I'm sure.

He obviously noticed my discomfort. He stares at his knuckles as shame filters his eyes. "I knew I shouldn't have come. Andrew said it would be a good idea, but I knew better."

Andrew…why did that name seem so…familiar?

The tall mysterious man stood up and began walking towards the door.

"No! Please wait!" I felt tears creeping down my cheeks. He was the only clue to my life right now. I need him to help me. To fill me in on who I am-or rather who I was.

"What?" He turns towards me. Hope seemingly radiating from his body.

"I don't know who you are." I whisper. "I don't even know who I am."

His midnight blue eyes fell into watery darkness, as if it were he, and not myself whose memories were lost. Sadness seemed to swallow him up like a black hole as I sat fearful of his response. Waiting for an answer is agonizing torture. I feel a tightness in my throat, and a tingling feeling, like spiders crawling up the base of my neck. My heart thrashes in my chest.

Yet, I continue to wait for some kind of response.

Finally, after what seems like hours of awkward silence, he reaches for the doorknob.

My heart feels like it is falling out of my chest as I plead with him. "Please, please tell me what's going on!"

The man pauses for a moment and turns back to me. I notice his body is shaking. He is staring at me with pity, and with a lost devotion. Yet, I cannot figure out who he is. What was my relationship with him? Why is he so…so emotionally upset?

With a low, empty voice, he mutters. "Your name is Serena Tsukino. And you thought you had me figured me out…but you never actually knew me at all."

His words awe and shock me all at once, but after he says those final words, he opens the door and leaves. Leaving me to question everything that has happened so far.

Who is he? Is he a friend or maybe a classmate? A boyfriend, perhaps?

I blush at the idea of him being a boyfriend. If that was true, wouldn't he have told me his name? He probably wouldn't have left with such words either. Oh! But can't a girl hope?

To be honest, how I am feeling doesn't even matter. At least, in regards to the dreamy guy who had vacated my room.

I look around and observe the objects and colors surrounding me. I am laying in a bed, blankets covering me from stomach to toes. The bed frame is made with plastic. There are buttons covering a huge white plastic remote hanging from a thick white wire on my bed. A big metal stand is holding iv bags that are hooked to my arms by little tubes.

I'm scared. I know I am in a hospital. I remember how it feels to be in a hospital. Sitting in the bed wondering how long you will be there, and how truly hurt you are.

Some time passes before someone else enters my room. A woman with long brown hair pulled back in a ponytail and wearing pink scrubs rushes in with concern on her face.

"Serena, do you feel dizzy at all?" The nurse asks. The frazzled lady pulls her pen out and waits to write my answer onto her clipboard.

"No, I'm just confused." I answer.

"A man came from your room, he said that you didn't remember anything?" The nurse prompts yet another answer from me.

"Yes."

"Serena, what do you actually remember last?"

I stop to think for a moment. I press my mind for any memory whatsoever. Big red eyes, black fur, and a crescent moon comes to mind.

"I don't remember anything but a black cat." The fact I could only remember a cat was freaking me out a little bit. I felt so frustrated. I wanted to scrape my brain for any little detail to help me remember anything about my life. Anything that would tell me who the attractive man was. What his significance had been. Why this cat was important enough for me to remember when I couldn't even remember my own name. Tears begin building in my eyes.

Why did something like this have to happen to me?

"I'm going to talk with your doctor. Just relax. Everything will be okay."

I watch the nurse who never graced me with her name exit like the stranger before had. When I heard the door click, I burst into tears, sobbing into my hands. My whole life had seeped through my fingers. I didn't know my age, or if I had a favorite food. Did I have a family or friends? I choke realizing that I didn't even know what had happened to me in the first place!

I don't know exactly how long I cried before I heard a knock on the door. I wipe my face as quickly as I can. A man in a white lab coat enters with a clipboard. "Well, Serena, it's nice to see you're actually awake. We were worried we were going to have to put you in a room as a coma patient."

My eyes widen. How long had I been sleeping? As if he knew what I was thinking, the doctor says, "Three days. All the sleep helped though, seeing as the wound in your side is healing nicely without you moving around. We'll need to keep you here for a few more days, perhaps a week or so until we can diagnose exactly what is going on with you. We need to figure out exactly what kind of amnesia you have and from there we can decide how to treat you for that, and of course keep an eye on your wounds."

I nod my head. The only thing I think to respond with is a simple question, "What happened to me?"

"You were hit by a car, Serena."

He looks at me with pity. While I am grateful for the information, I couldn't help but despise him at that moment. He smiles before making his exit and I feel sick to my stomach. I feel envy. How lucky this doctor was to have all the knowledge about his life, but not only that…but to have knowledge of college and how to deal with cases like me.

How great would it be to fall asleep and to wake up having everything that just happened be a dream? It would be perfect. A sudden glimmer of hope strikes through me and I decide that I should just give it a try.

I close my eyes. Sleep, I'm sure, I've always found to be a beautiful thing. I was almost positive of that.

It was yet another day that I was running late. I rush down the stairs, calling out to my mother, "Why didn't you wake me up in time for the bell!?"

As always, I forgot my lunch. My mother holds it out for me, smiling and shaking her head. I can feel the fear I have for my teacher, and the fear of being late.

Suddenly, I hear the yell of kids as they hold down a black kitty cat. One with Sailor V band-aids on its forehead. That was probably what the kids were doing, torturing a poor kitty! I yell at them and they run for it.


The cat does a back flip onto a car, and stares at me with its strange red eyes after I pull off the band-aids. A crescent moon!

"Oh, Serena, why didn't you watch-" The foreign sound of a quiet voice echoes in the background of my mind, momentarily pulling me away from my flashes of memories.

Things are starting to blur. I hear the bell for my school, and I feel like I'm just going to die. I run for it as fast as I can. Suddenly, the road starts to swirl.


"Do you think that she will remember us?" A female voice whispers.

I almost make it to the school building before I fall. The world is turning black.

"Of course she will. We're her friends." another voice says slightly shrill like.

I open my eyes to see a blue haired girl sitting at the corner of the room where the man from earlier had once sat. I look at her, thinking of him. Everything comes back in a rush, making me feel so alone. I really can't remember anything! Who is this girl? She looks around my age, but I just can't remember. I want to cry, all my memories really were gone. I don't know anyone who has come into my room so far. I hold back my tears. I have to to be strong, and crying wouldn't accomplish that.

I take a moment to observe the blue haired girl who I don't recognize at all. She is wearing gray jeans and a light blue t-shirt. Her eyes are full of tears and she is looking at someone else in the room.

Across from her is a girl with long, raven-colored hair. She is wearing a silk red tank top and light blue shorts with a black belt. She looks fierce and stubborn. Like she is unwilling to accept my state of mind at the moment.

"Serena is such a huge part of our lives. She knows us so well, she wouldn't be able to forget us." The raven says.

"So, do you think it would be safe for Luna to be around her during this time?" The other girl asks.

"Of course! She knew Luna before us!" The girl in the red top exclaims.

Neither one of them have noticed I have awakened. Go figure.

"Who are you two?" I ask, honestly annoyed they interrupted my dream. I watch as their faces go into shock. They both look confused. Just as confused as I am with these strangers consistently popping in and out of my room.

"You mean, you really don't remember us?" The girl sitting in the corner asks me with a shaky voice.

"No." I reply, frustrated.

"Serena, this isn't funny! Of course you know us, we're your best friends, meatball brains!" The girl in red yells at me. Her hand slaps her mouth, and she looks towards her friend, looking immediately remorseful for the words that left her lips.

"Raye! How could you say that to her? She has amnesia. You know that! You can't act this way with her anymore. She has no idea who you are."

I am annoyed. How dare this girl tell me who my best friends are?

"All right, 'Raye'. I have no idea who you think you are, but I only have one best friend, and she is not you, or whoever that girl is!" I yell pointing at her friend.

I see the hurt on the other girl's face. Her cheeks flush, and she looks as if I had stabbed her in the chest with a knife. I can feel the twisting and aching pain in my heart. I realize I have said something very hurtful, but at this point it's too late to change it anyways.

"Amy, let's go. I can't handle this right now. This is just awful." Raye says as she leaves.

Amy doesn't leave though. She sits next to my bed, and she smiles at me sadly. I was getting sick of this. The pity faces. The disappointment that these people have when I don't know who they are. I don't even remember how old I am for Pete's sakes! How should I remember them?

"Serena, please ignore Raye. She was just so hopeful that you would remember us. She believed that you would remember. We love you so much. It just hurts our ego is all," Amy's voice cracks as she holds back a sob.

"I'm sorry for not remembering. I'm so confused." I say to her. "It's so frustrating to have people come into my room. To not know them, and have them hurt when I can't remember them. I don't know who even I am! How can I remember them if I can't remember myself?"

"We didn't know." Amy responds sympathetically before pulling me into a hug. I feel wetness on my shoulder as she holds me tight. I know Amy is crying for me. It's overwhelming to have someone who I don't remember crying for me, claiming to be one of my very best friends. Guilt floods through me as I force myself to try to recall anything about her, but nothing comes to mind. Why couldn't I just remember? I can't take it anymore and break down in her arms. We cry together. I hold on tight and so does she. I may not know her, but I can feel a connection to her. She is someone who is vital in my life.

"Amy, are you comi-?" Raye asks as she cracks the door open, poking her head into the room. Amy ignores her, focusing only on me. Through watery eyes, I watch Raye's expression as she sees the scene in front of her. Raye's eyes soften as she looks at me. Instead of rushing out, she pauses, glancing from the hall back to us. I close my eyes, trying to blink tears away. Soon, we feel Raye's arms wrap around us as her tears fall too.

"I'm sorry." She whispers into my ear. "I am so sorry."


Last edited by natashasurgirl on 15th April 2013, 7:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Chance   15th April 2013, 7:01 am

Chapter Two

After a while of sitting in a small, white, gloomy place, you can't help but search for a way out. It doesn't really seem so bad at first. Of course it is the most dreadful feeling to be sitting in a hospital bed knowing that your lack of memories hurts everyone around you. You can't stop yourself from feeling the overwhelming desire to prove that you are stable enough to leave regardless of all that. You want to force some kind of memories out.

A week had passed since the day I woke up. I frown slightly while thinking about the events of the week. Finding out about my amnesia, learning that I may never recover my memories because of it being a "physical" amnesia. I may not remember anything from the last two years! To make matters worse, that means that everything I had learned in school over the last two years, are completely gone. So, I am back to being a sixth grader apparently.

I feel myself tearing up as I think about my condition. I pick up a pink notebook with little white bunnies on the front from my bedside table. I open it to the first page, and read the words written on it:

My Memories

Molly Baker

Mama

Papa

Sammy

Strange cat

Sailor V

Nothing made sense anymore. I just know that the doctor can't possibly be right about the memory thing. From what I've heard from my friend Molly, Sailor V is fairly new, just this past year she's been out and about. According to her, I've had a cat for months, with the same exact description of the cat from my dream!

I have so many questions, and so many remain unanswered. Who is the man in the ugly jacket? What is our relationship? How did I even meet Amy and Raye? They didn't tell me when they did visit me how we met or even how we came to be friends.

I am startled out of my thoughts when I hear a light knocking on my door. My friend Molly pokes her head through the door and smiles. "Hey Serena!"

"Hey Molly!" I smile brightly at her. I watch as my redheaded visitor sits at the seat to my left. She gives me a basket filled with all kinds of gifts.

"What is this, Mols?" I ask. I look at the basket quizzically. There is what I can only assume is the latest comic book of the Sailor V series, coupons for free milkshakes at the Crown Arcade, a get well card, followed by many other things.

Molly shrugs, shaking her head. "Darien stopped me while I was on my way to come visit you. He gave this to me to give to you. It was really quite wierd to be honest."

I start taking items out of the basket with interest. There are ten coupons for the arcade, five chocolate bars, The Sailor V comic book, which on the front has a picture of Sailor V and a white cat with a crescent moon on it's forehead perched on the top of her head.

I pause for a minute. "There's a crescent moon on this cat's forehead."

"Yeah, so? It's just a comic book."

"That cat in my dream also has one, " I say, confused by this odd little coincidence. I try to think about the black cat again. My head aches whenever I try to think of this cat.

"Nice kitty..." I laugh nervously as I start backing away from the cat on the car. The cat stares at me with her piercing red eyes as if she is staring into my soul.

"Oh Serena, you've got to stop doing that," Molly says concerned as she holds my hand. "You only hurt your head and then have to take painkillers. Everything will come back when it's the right time!"

"Right now is the right time. I feel so lost Mols, and I can't help but think that this moon symbol is important!" I say exasperated. Molly smiles sadly at me.

"I wish I had answers. All I know about the reoccurring cat dream is that it's about your cat, you named her Luna."

"So, do you think it would be safe for Luna to be around her during this time?" Amy asked Raye.

"Of course! She knew Luna before us!" Raye exclaimed.


Realization hits me. There is something special about Luna. I had a suspicion about the cat of course, but Raye and Amy were talking about her as if she were a person. I grab the pen from the inside of the spiral on my notebook and write down the cat's name along with the words "My pet" next to the strange cat.

"What is that, Serena?" Molly asks pointing at my list. She tries to read the words upside down. "My... memories?"

"It was mom's idea. She told me I should write down everything that I do remember, that way it might be able to help me trigger something later."

Mama always has a way of trying to come up with ways to cheer up Sammy and I. Regardless of her red puffy eyes, and her wetted cheeks as she stared down at me, she still managed a smile as she gave me my new notebook and pens. Her warm hugs and kisses managed to relax me as I smelled her hair. The familiarity of mama's perfume always relaxes me when I'm feeling sad or scared.

She is always there for me no matter what, and when something goes wrong she brings me something sweet and yummy. That night she happened to have brought brownies.

"Your mom is so smart!"

I smile and say, "Yeah, she is."

"So what else is in the basket, Serena?" Molly asks, excited to see everything some man named Darien had sent to me, via her.

I pull out a bag of strawberry lollipops and show them to her, followed by a bag of cotton candy. I pick up the get well card and take it out of the envelope which was entitled "Serena".

It was a simple generic card, with a picture of flowers on the front along with the brush scripted words, "Thinking of you" and on the inside, "Get well soon!" What made the card stand out though was the letter from the giver.

Dear Serena,

I want to apologize for leaving you in the hospital room in your time of need. I can't stop thinking about it and how I let you down when you really needed a friend. If I had been in your situation I would've wanted someone to be there, and I should have done that for you. I want to make it up to you, and I want to be there for you, as your friend.

We can start all over and forget about everything from the past, I want to be a part of your life! I hope you are feeling well, and I'm sorry I didn't have the courage to bring this to you myself, I hope you can forgive me.

Sincerely,

Darien Shields

P.S. If you can forgive me and want to give me a second chance, please, please call me.


His number was enclosed on a folded up piece of fortune cookie paper. I read the fortune aloud. "Your smile is a treasure to all who know you."

"Wow!" Molly says with hearts in her eyes. "That is soooooooo romantic!"

"There's more, " I say taking a box out of the basket. I open the box, which reveals a pair of sterling silver pearl heart earrings. "Oh wow!"

"Put them on!" Molly exclaims, rushing me to put on my new earrings.

I quickly put them into my ears, pulling my hair back to show the dangling hearts to Molly. "How do I look?"

"Beautiful!"

I smile to myself as my friend is giddy and squealing with joy about how "Darien Shields is so romantic!"

I think about the letter and what Darien had said. He was the man who had been there when I first woke up. He was right, he had abandoned me when I really needed support. Sure, memories slowly surfaced back over the week, but if he had just helped me to calm down or stayed to show that he had cared... maybe things wouldn't have been so scary.

"Serena? Helloooo? Serena!" Molly says annoyed, while waving her hands in front of my face.

"Hm? What?" I ask, not realizing I had spaced off into my own world.

"Your doctor is going to be here soon, and I still have to study for a test tomorrow. I have to go, mind if I visit you again tomorrow?" Molly asks, reaching over to hug me.

"Oh, yeah, sure Mols. No problem. I'll see you tomorrow." I accept her hug and wave goodbye to her before she goes.

Molly has made a habit of coming to see me everyday after school. Raye and Amy who claimed to be my best friends, had only come to see me that one time. I knew I was right when I recalled that I only had one best friend, which was neither Raye or Amy, but Molly. They had seemed to care so much, but yet, they were never here. What kind of friends were they? Even the dweebmyster, Melvin, had come with Molly a few times with flowers and a big fat smile on his face, as he declared that I was the most beautiful girl in our school.

I observe the three bouquets of flowers on the windowsill next to my bed, all given to me by the biggest school nerd. One, a vase filled with magnificently pink lillies, another filled with white chrysanthemums, and the last one filled with yellow sunflowers. Besides each vase sat a card signed by Melvin with love poems in them. I was adorned with his poetry of:

"Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

There is no one in the school,

As pretty as you!"


and

"Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

I'm not good at poetry,

But I'll keep trying for you."


He was really sweet for trying, but Melvin just wasn't my type. I couldn't force myself to like him that way. I keep sending him hints that I'm not interested in his company that way, but he just doesn't seem to catch on. I'll just have to tell him directly at some point. That is a confrontation I'm definitely not looking forward to.

Finally I hear the knock at my door. Everyday at five a clock my doctor checks up on me to see how I am feeling physically. I check the clock and it is 4:45 pm, which makes my doctor early. He is usually always right on time. He opens the door, and closes it behind him with his elbow as he writes things down in the file on his clipboard.

"Hello Ms. Tsukino. How are you feeling today?" He asks, pushing his glasses up on his nose as he prepares to write down my answers.

"I'm feeling good. No more headaches, and no pain in my side anymore." I answer. I carefully put all the gifts on my bed back into the basket before placing the care package on the end table.

My doctor walks over and observes my side. He removes the bandage which is surprisingly completely white, considering the huge gash from before.

"You are lucky to have survived, let alone heal this quickly." He comments as he writes down some more notes.

"I am lucky." I say uncomfortably. I have been hearing the same thing all week now. I couldn't explain how I healed so quickly, who can explain how head injuries and big gashes get healed in such a short amount of time? It was almost like magic, but that was impossible.

"You regained many of your memories in a short amount of time also." He says looking at me directly in my eyes. I squirm in my bed. For some reason I felt like I had to explain myself, but there was no way that I could anyways. "You are very mystical Ms. Tsukino."

"I'm just lucky." I say, emphasizing 'just'. I'm just a normal teenager who happened to get hit by a car, recovering faster than another group of people.

He looks at me suspiciously, and then after a moment of silence on both our parts he continues to talk, "Well, either way, since you have regained enough memory to function normally in your household, and all your wounds are healed, we need to let you go. We of course expect you to keep checking in every week for the next couple of months with your regular doctor. I would also suggest a therapist to deal with the emotional side of your condition. I have already called your mother to sign the release papers, and expect her to be showing up within the hour."

"Thank you doctor." I reply. I feel relief when he leaves the room, and I squeal with excitement knowing that I get to go home. I get out of bed and start to pack up any extra belongings that I had in the suitcase underneath the window sill. I pick up all the get well cards and place them into the basket Darien had given to me.

I do a little dance, and although I still feel a little sleepy, that doesn't stop me from singing the words, "I'm going home!" at the top of my lungs.

Finally, things were going to go back to normal, finally I get to go home!
[i]
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Chance   15th April 2013, 7:04 am

Chapter Three

I grin happily as I open the door to my bedroom and take in the view of the color pink, and all the bunnies and moons on the blanket on my bed. I drop my suitcase on the floor and fling myself onto the cushion filled surface. To sleep in my own bed again after all this time? It is always the smallest things that are to be the most appreciated in life!

My mom follows behind me shortly with Melvin's flowers, and Darien's basket stuffed in her hands and arms. She smiles at me as she sees me rolling around in my soft blankets. "I see you've missed home, didn't you, Serena?"

"Oh, mom. I really did! It's so nice be safe and sound. I don't ever want to go to that crummy hospital again. It's so scary in there!" I say, pouting. I really did hate staying in the hospital. The doctors made me so nervous. Speculating as to how I recovered so quickly, and making me feel like I had done something wrong.

Mom walks over to my bed and sits next to me. I sigh happily as she brushes her fingers through my hair. "Don't worry sweetie. You're home now, and I can make you some of your favorite food. Like chocolate cake and spaghetti and meatballs!"

"We're your best friends, meatball brains!"

Raye. I just didn't get it. Why would you call someone who is supposed to be your best friend, "Meatball Brains?" It's just so mean. I would never be friends with someone who would put me down like that all the time. Sure, sometimes Molly and I picked on each other, but we never went out of our way to hurt one another. Not like how Raye had targeted me. How did I ever become friends with someone so cold?

"You look troubled. What's on your mind?" Mom asks me. She stands up and starts organizing the flowers in the vases on my table. My mom loves to rearrange flowers and make them look even prettier than before. She is a wonderful homemaker. That's probably why dad loves coming home to her.

"Mom. How did I meet Raye?" I ask, watching as she starts tidying up my vanity. My mom is always a busy lady. Keeping her hands preoccupied at all times.

"I don't know. You never brought that girl around. Although you and Amy sure talked about her a lot." My mom stops organizing my clutter for a moment to comment, "Amy used to help you all the time with your schoolwork. She was always with you before the accident."

"Oh." I comment lamely. "She visited me once at the hospital. I never saw her after that though."

"That's wierd. You should call her. You two were really close the last couple months." My mom stops cleaning up to briefly snoop through the basket from Darien. She starts laughing.

"Mom! What's so funny, and what are you doing getting into that?" I yell, upset that she was invading my privacy.

Mom starts laughing even louder reading the card from Darien.

"Mom!" I yell grabbing the card from her hand.

"I'm sorry," She coughs a little as she tries to speak and not giggle like a hyena anymore. "I'm sorry, it's none of my business. I'm going to start making dinner. I'm so happy you're home!"

I groan as mom leaves my room. She just has a way of making me totally and completely embarrassed. Some things you just can't forget. I walk around my room trying to think of what the next step in my life is going to be.

I stop in front of the vanity in my room. I stare into the mirror, observing my sky blue eyes, and the balls of hair on the top of my head. I wasn't really sure when I started doing my hair like that, but it didn't seem very mature. I take the hair barrettes holding the pigtails in the buns out and let my hair fall loose. Golden tendrils of hair fell to the floor around my feet.

"My hair is too long." I say to myself for no particular reason. "Why do I keep my hair this long? No wonder I trip so much."

It's true. Ever since Molly and I were ten, I was famous for tripping and landing face first on the pavement. I'm tired of being known as a klutz. Now that I can't recall much about my past, I really don't want to go reliving it. Maybe taking care of this single feature could help me start anew.

I reach for the scissors in my vanity drawer, and try to decide the length I want my hair to be. I pull all my hair into my fist and cut into my hair at the waist length with my eyes closed. When I feel the cut hair fall from my hands and what felt like a weight lifted off shoulders, I peek an eye open to see what my hair looks like.

My hair is at my waist now curling at the bottom. My bangs look the same, but somehow I just look different. More mature. I take my super pink raspberry lip gloss and gloss my lips up to be nice and shiny. Finally I pull out a black headband and put it on the top of my head to keep the long strands of hair separate from my bangs.

I step into my closet and pick out a flowing black skirt that stops at knee-length, and a white tank top. I add a button up see through white top to my outfit, and go downstairs.

"Mama! I'm gonna go to the arcade," I yell as I pull on my shoes. One of the many memories I have been recalling as of late is how Molly and I would get sweets at the arcade. I giggle to myself, thinking of all the hours we would waste gawking at guys from our table while eating our sundaes.

"Serena, be home in time for dinner!" My mom calls from the kitchen, graciously dismissing me to enjoy my free time before the day ends.

It's nearly 6:30 pm by the time I arrive at the arcade. I smile as the doors open when I stand in front of them, breathing in the strong smell of greasy cheeseburgers and salty fries before heading towards the bar stools at the front of my favorite hang out. I'm greeted by a young blonde man, who for whatever reason, seems familiar.

"Serena! You are out of the hospital!" He says happily and runs around the bar table to hug me. I feel a little confused, but when he hugs me and squeezes me I just smile. The employee looks up from his hug and gapes at me, his face full of surprise. "Did you cut your hair?"

"It's nice to see you too," I say, pulling myself out of his grasp to sit at the bar. Why was it his business what I did or didn't do with my hair? Was it really all that important? It was just hair, and not even his! Regardless, I answer anyways, "Yes I did."

While I position myself in a more comfortable position on the plush bar stool, I think about what I'm going to order. That's when I notice him.

"Serena!" Darien exclaims, his face turning red. I don't understand why he is blushing since I'm not exactly anything special.

"Hi." I feel squeamish inside knowing that Darien is sitting right next to me. I pull my hair behind my ears, and stare at the fountain soda dispenser.

"You are wearing the earrings I bought you. Do you like them?" Darien asked, smiling at me. I turn towards him, and can't seem to come up with anything to say.

"Are you still mad at me for that day?" He looks sad when he says this. Oh this was so awkward. I just don't know how to talk to him. Darien is so handsome, and his eyes are such a wonderful blue, just like the ocean.

Finally, my voice cracks, and I manage to squeak out, "Thanks."

"Wow, Darien, for once Serena is speechless in your presence." The blonde laughs. "Here's your coffee, black like you like it, and for Serena, a double chocolate milkshake sundae!"

"Thanks, Andrew." Darien replies as he takes his drink from Andrew's hand. "I'll treat her."

"I thought you would, after everything that happened." Andrew looks at me and seems to be confused. I watch as he gives me a quizzical look.

"What?" I ask Andrew. I shift uncomfortably in my chair. "Why are you looking at me like that? You are scaring me."

Andrew looks startled by what I have said. "It's just, you are acting as if you don't even know me anymore."

"Drew, she doesn't remember me either. She met me first, remember? I told you all about this." Darien looks just as upset as Andrew, and the tension in the room is driving me crazy.

"Oh, right. Serena, my name is Andrew. You used to come in here all the time with Amy and Raye to hang out. I used to bring you free milkshakes before the accident. You even brought Luna here a lot." Andrew scratches his neck and tries to not look frustrated. It's clear he is stressed out by my memory loss, just like everyone else is.

That's when I realize that Luna was brought up again. "I used to bring Luna here?"

Darien chuckles to himself. "Yeah, you used to bring her with you everywhere. Sometimes you would even talk to her, which is a wierd thing to do since everyone knows that cats can't talk!"

I gulp down my sundae. This guy thinks I'm crazy. Or whoever I was a couple of months ago was crazy. Why was he trying to be my friend then?

"Yeah, well, I don't remember that, so it never happened." I say defensively.

Darien grins at me before saying, "You're right. If you don't remember it, it didn't happen. Right, Andrew?"

Andrew rolls his eyes. "Right, but that doesn't mean the truth about the past shouldn't come out so then no one gets hurt."

Darien hushes him with a glare.

Well that was wierd. We sit in silence, sipping at our drinks as Andrew cleans the counter in front of us. Ever since Andrew's comment, time seemed to slow, and no one was speaking. Me, because I had no idea what they were talking about, and them, because it was obvious they were referring to something I didn't remember.

Finally, an interesting question pops into my mind, allowing me to break the painful silence. "Hey Andrew, I've hung out here ever since the place opened, when did you start working here?"

"Actually it was only a few months ago. My mom and dad own this place and I need to make some money so then I can go to school to become a doctor."

"Oh." I don't feel comfortable. "I don't really like doctors."

"What? Why not? Didn't they save your life?" Darien jumps in defensively. He looks at me slightly wild-eyed, clearly upset about my confession.

"Well, actually, besides the bandaging, I healed up pretty quickly on my own. All the doctors and nurses were questioning me for how I recovered so fast in 10 days. They were scary and acting like I was a freak."

"Not all doctors are like that. Some are really cool, and handsome, and fun to hang out with. Some would make a really good husband, and treat their wife very well. " Darien says matter of factly.

"Hear hear, "Andrew butts in.

"Well what do you care what I think of doctors?" I ask, annoyed at his irrational reaction to my feelings.

"Well, I'm going to college to be one. My dream is to save lives," Darien answers my question, frowning.

"Yeah, but what does what I think have to do with you?"

Silence. I shake my head, before I get a glimpse of the clock on the wall behind Andrew. 7:53 pm.

"Oh no!" I cry out loud.

"What's the matter, Serena?" Andrew says shrilly in response.

"I'm gonna be late for dinner, mom's gonna ground me for sure!" I jump out of my seat from next to Darien. Darien grabs my wrist. "Darien, what are you doing? I have to leave, now!"

"Let me drive you home." He says hastily. He wraps his fingers into my hand and throws a couple of bills on the counter. My cheeks feel hot at the touch of his skin, butterflies float around in my stomach. Darien waves to Andrew with his free hand. "I'll see you, Andrew."

"Bye man. Be careful, her dad is crazy." Andrew waves goodbye to both of us, and somehow by the end of this exchange I feel more comfortable around both of them. Although it feels like I have just met them, there is this strong feeling I have that I am safest around them.

Darien leads me into the arcade's parking lot, and into an expensive looking black car. He opens the passenger door before releasing my hand. "Buckle up, Serena."

I sit in the car and buckle up like I was told. Darien joins me on the driver's side, and starts the car. "Do you know where I live?" I ask, astonished at the scenario that had led me into his car. Everything was happening so quickly, and while I felt comfortable around Darien, it almost seemed unreal. Was he nervous like me? He seems so cool and collected, like everything that was happening wasn't a big deal at all.

"Kind of, sometimes when Raye and I hung out, she would have me drop her off at your house."

"Oh." Great. Raye is his girlfriend. It makes sense I guess. Raye is beautiful with her long dark hair, large twinkly purple eyes, and curvy legs. Her temper made her fiesty and exciting, especially to a college guy like Darien, I'm sure. So, why was he holding my hand then?

" I know what you are thinking, and you're wrong. She's just my friend." Darien says, interrupting my thoughts. As Darien drives towards my house without needing a single direction from me, it's very clear he has dropped Raye off many times. "The only reason I really hung out with her was to be closer to you."

"You know, I didn't bring this up before, but I miss your buns," Darien whispers to me. "I love your hair like that. Why did you cut it?"

I breath in a sharp breath as he takes his hand and runs it through my hair. Darien's fingers lightly tickle my neck as he brushes my hair back, and I shiver. I've run out of words to say and all I can do is concentrate on the fact that this older boy is touching me. Me! Serena Tsukino of all people.

"Serena, are you there?" Darien asks. Lost in my own thoughts I hadn't realized that Darien had parked in my driveway. He holds my cheek in his hand, and rubs his fingers in circles on my cheek.

"Yeah, I'm here." I murmur under my breath. I feel so nervous that my hands begin to shake. I look into his eyes, watching as he leans closer to me. My heart beats quickly and I start to panic. I've never kissed a guy before, and it looks like that was what Darien was after.

"Serena, promise me you'll call me. I've missed you so much, and I just want to be around you. Things were so different when you weren't around, I never realized how much I needed to see your smile everyday."

"I promise." I say in a dreamy voice. He was being so sweet, and so romantic. I close my eyes and pucker my lips, expecting a kiss. I receive a soft kiss on my hand instead.

"Go inside, Serena. Remember? You're late!" Darien touches my face one more time before my eyes widen with realization, and I run out his car door. I look back at him from my front door. I see him mouthing the word, "Call."

I nod at him with a huge grin on my face, and race into my house. "Mom! I'm sorry I'm late!"
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Chance   15th April 2013, 7:05 am

Chapter Four

I awoke this morning feeling more alive and vibrant than I have in years. Today was going to be my first day back at school, and Molly had agreed to show me where class was. It seems as though it has been forever since I have gone to school, and being away from school for at least a week has taken it's toll. I actually miss being paraded from class to class like a herd of elephants to learn things that I don't recall now.

I stretch my arms above my head and yawn loudly. I look at the clock, and I'm actually on time. It's a strange event considering how before I would always sleep in. I hop out of my bed and get dressed into what I consider a "new" school uniform, seeing as I don't really remember wearing it before. I approach my vanity trying to decide what to do with my now shorter, waist length hair.

"I didn't bring this up before, but I miss your buns."

Well, if Darien liked my hair that way, maybe I should keep it the same way. I mean sure, my hair was shorter now, but that doesn't mean I can't continue using what is my new signature look. When I finish my hairstyle I stare dreamily at myself. The only person I can think about is Darien and everything that happened last night.

"My earrings!" I express happily with joy as I hurry to put the little dangle hearts into my ear lobes. The little earrings signifies a new relationship beginning to bloom, a fresh start from whatever my and Darien's past had been. I hear my mom answer the front door, and I just know Molly has arrived. I race down the steps.

"Serena, you better not come home late again. Your dad nearly had a heart attack when he saw the car in the driveway last night." My mother scolds me, handing me my pink lunch sack.

"Sorry mom! I'll be home by 7 o'clock tonight. I promise!" I kiss her cheek, and then notice that Sammy is sitting on the couch in his pajamas with his head in his arms.

Molly notices Sammy too. "Serena, what is wrong with your little brother?"

"I don't know," I answer concerned. I pull my shoes on and grab my schoolbag. Molly and I are about to walk out the door, but I just can't make myself leave knowing Sammy is upset. "Sammy, are you okay?"

"No." Sammy answers coldly. "I don't want to talk about it. Just leave me alone!"

Sammy runs up the stairs to his room, slamming his door loudly behind him. Molly and I turn to mom for an answer. Mama finally answers the question that was driving Molly and I crazy. "His friend Mika is in the hospital."

Molly cuts in, "Isn't Mika the girl who won that one contest for her doll?"

I gasp. Since when did Sammy have a friend named Mika? She can make dolls? This whole lack of memories thing sucks majorly. I wish I could remember the people who are important to my friends, family, and even myself. I am constantly feeling out of the loop.

"Yeah, Sammy feels horrible because he accidentally broke her doll. When he finally worked up the courage to apologize yesterday, she had gone to the hospital! The doctors have no idea what is wrong."

Molly chats with my mother, "That's strange. You know the same thing happened to my and Serena's sewing teacher, Miss Lambert. She was supposed to get married to this really geeky guy, but she dumped him out of nowhere and then passed out at a sewing contest. No one knows what's wrong with her at the hospital either!"

I listen to my mother and my best friend gossip away. It feels like there is something seriously wrong here. Something almost supernatural. The way I think of all this chatter is backed up with Molly's next piece of juicy gossip.

"Our teacher, Miss Haruna has been missing all week! We had to get a substitute teacher. Ever since Peter Fisher's contest, all of these girls have gone missing, even Peter himself! There was just a bunch of photos of all these people all over the cement next to the swimming pool. I'm so glad I didn't go to that contest, and visited Serena instead!"

All these people are missing? What is going on? "Are the police doing anything about it?" I ask, confused. So much seems to have changed from what I can remember. I can't help but think something sinister is happening in what used to be my cheery home of Tokyo, Japan.

Mom answers my question with a finger raised in front of her face. "Well, of course they are. They are trying to find Sailor Moon; She was the one who solved all these wierd mysteries before with her friends, Sailor Mars, and Sailor Mercury."

"Oh yeah! Sailor Moon saved me and my mom when our jewelry shop was under attack, she is so pretty and so brave!" Molly exclaimed. "She went missing a little over a week ago though. Ever since she vanished all these wierd things keep happening."

I look at the clock on the wall. "Oh no! Molly, we're gonna be really, really late!"

I grab Molly's hand and run out the door. We start running as fast as we can towards the school. I'm running as quickly as possible, a little faster than Molly, even, and when I turn the corner, I run into a person. Before I know it, I've landed on the cement butt first. "Oww!" I moan as I rub the bruised area.

"Serena!" Darien states my name with excitement. "You fixed your hair back into the buns! Here let me help you up. Bet you're late again, just like old times, huh?"

He pulls me up into his arms, and gives me a warm hug. I look up into his eyes, smiling. Seeing Darien was quite possibly the best start of my morning, nothing else could make my day better. I feel so happy, excited, and fluttery! "I'm so happy to see you!"

Suddenly there is a loud shriek from where I had run from. Darien and I hear a crushing sound. My eyes widen, and I feel tears creep up in my eyes. I rip myself out of Darien's arms and jog to where I heard the shriek.

"Serena, where are you going?" Darien shouts, chasing me down the sidewalk.

"That was Molly. I ran faster than she did, she must have fell behind. I think something is wrong!" I am totally panicked. Molly has never screamed like that before in all the time that I have known her.

"Oh somebody help me!" Molly cries out at the top of her lungs. I finally get close to where she is and I see her webbed up against a cement wall. In the street creeps along a huge looking black widow spider with a woman's head. The spider has red and orange markings on her body. There are several cars behind the spider which seems to have been mutilated. That explains the crushing sound. At least Molly isn't hurt.

Darien is next to me soon. His eyes are huge and his mouth is gaping.

"Serena, what is that?" Darien asks in a frightened voice. I'm trembling, unable to keep back my shriek. The black widow switches her attention from Molly to me. The female spider dashes towards me.

"Serena, run!" Darien bellows at me. I can't move. I'm stunned into fear, and my body feels completely numb. The spider is becoming bigger and closer in my sight. My heart is racing. All I want is to follow Darien's command, but I can't will myself to even fall to the ground.

"Serena, what are you doing?" Molly shouts from the wall. "Run away! Serena, run away!"

Before I know it, the queen widow spider has pinned Darien to the wall with webs, just like she had with Molly. I hadn't felt it when Darien had pushed me out of the way. I didn't even hear him when he did it.

"Stop right there!" A mysterious voice calls from my left. I turn for a moment to see who is speaking. A girl with long raven hair in a skimpy red outfit and heels is standing on top of a car. She points at the black widow, who also for some unknown reason is giving this girl the light of day.

"Yeah! We won't let anyone attack the people we care about," another voice exclaims from behind the spider. She is in a similar skimpy outfit in the color blue. Since this girl is closer, I notice the tiara on her forehead. "My name is Sailor Mercury, and in the name of Mercury, I will punish you!"

"And I will punish you in the name of Mars!" The long-haired girl jumps next to Sailor Mercury, and announces, "I am Sailor Mars!"

What a waste of time. Instead of announcing themselves, they could have just attacked! I look past the sailor scouts and the scary monster, looking directly at Darien and Molly. The webs are glowing pink and appear to be getting tighter and tighter. "No! Molly! Darien!"

Darien and Molly are crying out in pain as the webs enclose tighter and tighter. Molly passes out in the webs from a lack of breath. I turn to Sailor Mars in desperation and force myself off the ground. "Help them! They are suffocating!"

"Oh no! Darien, I'll save you!" Sailor Mars yells out in desperation, "Mars Fire Ignite!"

A small bright flame bursts into a huge trail of fire. It is within a second that I see she has done something rather unintelligent because she pointed the flames at the man.

I run towards Molly and Darien. I cry out in a panic for Darien, "Stop your attack!"

"What? Why?" Sailor Mars shouts back. Sailor Mercury shakes her head. Sailor Mercury aims her own attack towards Sailor Mar's flame and says in a high-pitched voice, "Mercury Bubbles Blast!"

The bubbles causes the fire to turn to ice and I feel cold. I see Darien shivering, I know Molly can do absolutely nothing because she is knocked out. I am frustrated, these supposed "super heroes" aren't really doing anything to help us.

The black widow launches an attack at Sailor Mercury with her pincers. She cackles with an other worldly voice, "Give me your energy!"

"Sailor Mercury!" Sailor Mars hollers, "Mars Fire Ignite."

This time the attack hits the spider on her back. The large arachnid drops Sailor Mercury.

"Mars Fire Ignite. Mars Fire Ignite. Mars Fire Ignite!"

Three more attacks slam into the black widow before she crumbles to the ground. The webs around Molly and Darien fall to the sidewalk. I manage to catch Molly, but Darien slams to the ground directly on his chest.

"Oh no!" Sailor Mars says in a shaky voice. She hastily reaches Darien's side, and cries holding him in his arms.

I feel a zing of anger seeing the girl holding Darien. What right did she have holding my guy? Well, he's not my guy exactly, but that doesn't mean he can't be. He isn't attached to anyone right now after all.

Darien catches his breath, and whispers, "Serena."

At that moment the black widow is up again and ready to attack.

"I thought I killed it!" Sailor Mars groans, releasing Darien from her arms. "Mercury, try your bubbles."

"On it, "Mercury says pulling her arms in front of each other. "Mercury Bubbles Blast."

It is cold yet again, and there is a fog this time where you can't see anything. I guess Sailor Mars' attack had made it possible for us to see the ice the first time.

"It's freezing!" I hear the voice from the black widow.

A realization suddenly hits me: They can't defeat her.

They can keep using the same attacks again and again, but it does nothing. They can only weaken this creature.

I lay Molly on the ground and crawl over to Darien. I'm careful to stay under the fog. As long as the fog stays up and Darien can help me, we could at least escape. "Pst, Darien!" I whisper in his ear.

"Serena?" Darien asks, clutching his stomach in pain. His cheeks are blue, showing his energy has been drained by the spider. I feel guilty seeing Darien in this weak state. If he hadn't followed me when I ran off to find Molly, he would have never gotten hurt.

"Darien, we have to get out of here. I need your help with Molly."

"I'll try." Darien struggles as he uses his hands and knees to crawl towards Molly. Darien groans in pain when he pulls himself into a squat, carrying Molly's weight on his side. I take Molly's other arm and slowly, we stand. The fog is starting to dissipate, showing we have to hurry to safety before we lose our chance.

"Go as fast as you can," I urge Darien. "We have to get Molly to the hospital."

"Yeah and me too." Darien stumbles as pain fills his side again. We limp as quickly as we can from the battle scene.

"Mars Fire Ignite!"

"Mercury Bubbles Blast!"

"It's no use, Mars! We have to get Molly, Darien, and Serena out of here!"

I hear the voices of Sailor Mars and Sailor Mercury fading away as we get closer to the arcade.

"Darien, we're almost to the arcade. We'll have Andrew call the ambu-" I am cut off as Darien crumbles to the ground, and Molly falls right on top of him. Well, they are close enough. I rush to the Arcade.

"Call an ambulance! Call the police! We need help!"

Andrew looks up from the bar. He grabs the phone quickly and starts dialing a number. "What's going on Serena?"

"A huge spider monster attacked Molly. Darien and I tried to help. They got injured badly and they are on the sidewalk right now!"

Counting on Andrew to make the necessary calls, I bustle back towards Molly and Darien. "Don't you guys worry. I'm right here."

The cackling is back. Black widow's demonic voice is giggling and laughing, but I can't tell where from. In a single breath I went from being alone to having the beastly creature on top of me. "You can't help your friends. You are only a weak, measly human!"

Tears prick my eyes, and I know this is the end for me. Trails of salty water fall down my cheeks. All I want is to protect my friends. I just want them to be safe and sound.

I open one eye to see the black arachnid readying her pincers to dig into my flesh. I scream at the top of my lungs as she reaches down towards my neck. "NOOO!"

White light surrounds Darien, Molly, and I. The spider shrieks in pain as a leg burns off her body. I watch as she limps away from me, clearly frightened. I feel weak, and before I know it, I am asleep just like Molly and Darien.
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Chance   15th April 2013, 1:37 pm

Chapter Five

I am standing in a pitch black room. I walk around with my hands up trying to navigate towards a door. I can't seem to find anything. After searching blindly for a few minutes, I realize that this must be a long hallway. A light turns on far down the hall and I hear the echo of a woman's voice.

"This isn't a joke, Serena. This is your destiny!"


"Serena, wake up!" I hear Molly calling to me. I scratch my face and roll over on the cold cement. I feel a little drool on my cheek, but I'm so attached to the voice in my head that I don't want to wake up.

I follow the voice towards the sliver of light, which I can only assume is coming from the bottom of a doorway. As if things can't get any weirder, I hear myself speaking to the woman.

"My destiny? I must be dreaming!"


Suddenly two hands are on my shoulders and I am being lifted off the ground. I feel warm wrapped in a man's arms. I hear Darien's voice pleading to me, "Serena, please wake up. Please."

"It's not a dream. I'll prove it to you Serena, just repeat after me."

I finally reach the end of the hall where the assumed door is supposed to be. I search for a handle, but I can't find a knob of any kind. I'm desperate to open this door. I want to know what this woman is going to say. She can explain everything to me. I need to know about my past!

I'll never know what I was supposed to repeat. Molly shakes me in Darien's arms out of no where. I jerk awake, glaring at my friend. Darien and Molly smile and hug me. "We were so worried about you, Serena!"

It took a few minutes to not be upset with my friends. I have a feeling that whatever I had been dreaming about was real. It must have been something important, I just wish I had known who the voice belonged to! Molly and Darien's faces quickly changed from smiling to looks of concern.

"Are you okay, Sere?" Molly asks me. I stand up and pat my uniform skirt at my knees, trying to get the dirt off.

"Yeah I'm fine. You just woke me up in the middle of a dream," I say, pouting just a little bit. I look at our surroundings.

Sailor Mars and Sailor Mercury are observing me from the arcade roof. I see Sailor Mercury playing with what looks like some kind of blue compact mirror, but she's typing on it. Sailor Mars is pointing at the leg next to Darien. The Black Widow's leg. Sailor Mercury shakes her head at Sailor Mars, and then they see me staring at them. They say something to each other, which I can't hear from the ground, and then jump away from the scene from roof to roof.

I look at Molly and Darien, feeling confused. They are both standing, and they look perfectly okay. No bruises, no marks, and Darien isn't holding his side anymore.

"What happened?" I ask, demanding an answer for this magical occurence. It couldn't have been more than a few minutes later since the monster came. The ambulance and police aren't even here yet.

"There was this big ball of light!" Molly says, stretching out her arms wide above her head. "And before I knew it, I had all this energy and felt wide awake. It was really weird!"

"My injuries practically vanished when the light appeared, " Darien says. He looks confused as well. "I was going to question it, but I was more worried about you. You had fainted."

"Serena!" I hear Andrew yell at me from the arcade. "Are you guys okay? I called the police and hospital, but they said they were too busy to come. Apparantly there is another attack at the grocery store."

Andrew joins our group, frowning and looking confused. "I thought you said they were hurt?"

"We were, but then this magic light appeared and saved us!" Molly says in a dramatic voice. I think about the light. I'm pretty sure it came from me. It was only after I thought about how I wanted my friends to be safe that it appeared. The light saved all of us, but only when I was under attack. That's crazy though. Of course, everything that is happening is crazy! There has to be an explanation for everything.

"That's really strange," Andrew says, staring at the sky. His eyes widen with realization. "Do you think it was Sailor Moon?"

"No," Darien answers. "She was nowhere to be found."

That's right. The only person who can defeat these monsters is Sailor Moon. It's obvious because Sailor Mercury and Sailor Mars couldn't do anything to defeat the spider. They can't do anything without the girl who helped Molly at the jewelry store, but there is no way I'm her. I'm just a klutzy fourteen year old girl who is always late. "Late!"

Molly shakes her head. "Serena, forget school. Let's just play hookie."

"Since when does my best friend believe in skipping school?" I ask loudly. She blushes at me sheepishly.

"Well I dunno, Miss Haruna isn't there, and we were just attacked by a monster. Plus, that monster destroyed my entire book bag! What if we run into the monster again on the way to school? I'm too shaken up to take that test. I just want to go home!"

"Well, okay Molly," I respond sympathetically.

"Do you need a ride home, Molly?" Darien asks politely.

Molly shakes her head no. "I live down the street from here. I was just going to show Serena how to get to school since she doesn't remember. "

"I'll see you later then?" I ask Molly. I flick my eyes back and forth towards Darien. She giggles to herself.

"Yeah, no problem, Serena. Have fun!" Molly runs off towards her and her mom's apartment. I grin as I watch her leave. Even though things had gotten really scary, she still wants me get together with Darien.

Darien places his hand on my shoulder. "What do you want to do today?"

Andrew laughs, and he cheerfully walks back towards the arcade. "You guys have fun! I have to work today!"

"Bye Andrew!" I wave goodbye to him. As I watch him walk back into the arcade, several thoughts begin fleeting through my mind.

Although the the spider attack had happened not too long ago, it felt natural not to panic. Somehow it all seemed strangely normal in a way I couldn't explain. What is even weirder about all that is Darien, Andrew, and Molly acted like this was a typical occurence too! How often did these kind of attacks happen in town? Why in the world haven't Mom and Dad uprooted our family yet?

"Well?" Darien whispers into my ear, interrupting my thoughts with his lovely voice. His breath is warm and makes my skin tingle with excitement.

"I don't know." I address his question with what seems like a typical answer for me these days. I really don't know what to do. All the things that Molly and I like to do involve the mall. Not to mention I don't really have any money right now either.

Darien reaches for my hand. I accept and a blush escapes my cheeks. Why am I so bashful around him? Why do the butterflies float in my stomach, and why does it always feel like I'm going to melt into a puddle when he touches me?

"Have you eaten breakfast yet, Serena?" Darien questions me. "In all the time I've known you, I have only seen you eat breakfast on your way to school. You know, with your toast sticking out of your mouth as you run to class, late as always of course."

"I didn't eat yet. I was gonna just eat at school today, but then that monster came," I reply calmly. I can't help but notice that he already seems to have an opinion of me. That I'm klutzy and always late. I try not to let that bother me. I really wonder what our relationship was before the accident.

"Well, let's fix that!" Darien declares. "I'll make you some breakfast at my place, and I'm not taking no for an answer!"

Well, okay then. I don't even have a choice, not that I really mind. During our car ride, I wonder about the kind of place Darien Shields would live in. Was he messy like me? He wants to be a doctor, so he must have lots of books. Most likely.

"You don't act like the Serena I know anymore." Darien mumbles as he checks his rearview mirror.

I glare at him. What was that supposed to mean? I am acting like me, how can I not act like me?

"I'm not saying it's a bad thing, Serena." Darien says, seeing the distress on my face. "You always seemed so stressed. You have the ability to light up the whole room when you enter, but you were always in a rush and seemed so all over the place. Like you had too much on your plate or something."

"Darien, how did we meet?" I ask. This question has been driving me up the wall since the day I met Darien in the hospital. He seems to know so much about me. Darien tenses up when I ask this question.

"Well, Serena, we're here." Darien ignores my question as we pull up into a parking space. I look out the window to see a huge apartment complex. Darien taps on my window, before he opens my door. "Come on! I want you to see my apartment."

I follow him, not oblivious to the fact that he purposely changed the subject. I decide not to push the question for now. Darien leads me to an elevator. I look around, seeing the expensive paintings on the walls, and the marble on the floors. "How can you afford to live in a building like this?"

"Well, I work," Darien says matter of factly. "That's how I afford to live here."

I smack my forehead. How dumb. Of course that's how he affords to live in this building, a job!

Finally, after I've been following Darien feeling embarrassed like crazy, we reach his apartment. He unlocks and opens the door. Then he gives me a light shove to enter first. Darien follows me in and I stand and stare with awe.

"Your apartment is so clean!" my voice bursts out of my mouth with surprise. "I thought with all that studying you do, you wouldn't have time!"

It's not even that it's clean, the apartment is immaculate! There isn't a speck of dust anywhere. Nothing is out-of-place. The apartment barely looks lived in aside from the furniture.

"Yeah, well, I'm not home that much. I usually study at the arcade so I can run into y- I mean, I usually just study at the arcade." Darien's face turns a beet read. He tousles his hair and looks like he is about to panic. Instead of panicking though, he races to the kitchen to prepare our breakfast. Looks like he prefers to avoid a situation rather than just deal with it.

Even though it is kind of weird to be in a college guy's apartment after knowing him only a few days, I feel comfortable. There is this feeling that I get, like I'm meant to be here. It helps that Darien is so sweet and caring. Not to mention, I have a feeling that no one cares about me more than he does. Even though I can't remember, somehow I just know that he has always been there. I don't want that to go away.

"Soooooo Darien," My voice drawls out. "Whatcha got to eat?"

Darien laughs as he opens his refrigerator. I hear him pushing containers and boxes aside as he searches for something to eat. He calls back, "Well, how do you feel about fruit and pancakes?"

I hop behind him and hug him from behind. "I love fruit! It's so sweet and yummy!"

"I can tell!" Darien says laughing. He turns around and embraces me in his arms. I love these moments with him. The hugs, the laughing, and how I feel so safe around him. I squeeze him closer to me, and lay my head against his chest. I breathe him in, smelling peppermint and cinnamon.

Darien lifts my chin up with his fingers. He gazes lovingly into my eyes. I smile and brush a stray bang from the front of his face. Darien strokes my cheek with his fingers, and we just stare at each other. My heart is racing. All I can think about is how I want him to kiss me.

Kiss me. Kiss me. Kiss me. Oh, screw it!

I get on my tippy toes and wrap my arms around Darien's neck. Closing my eyes, I pull his soft lips down to mine. At first Darien is hesitant. His body freezes up before he wraps his arms around my waist and starts to kiss me back. He tastes like dark chocolate. A bitter sweetness that is just sweet enough to keep you coming back for more. I lick his lips, trying to deepen the kiss. He obliges and our tongues are swirling together as I try to taste more of the chocolatey goodness.

Soon we are out of breath, and end the kiss. I take a deep breath. My cheeks are burning a crimson red. I just gave this man my first kiss. And I wanted to give him my second kiss, and my third one, and my fourth one too!

"Serena, " Darien whispers my name. "Serena, I..."

"You what?" I ask, hopeful for a step forward in this would be relationship.

Darien finally manages to fumble his words together. "I want to get us some fruit. Will you give me a few minutes?"

Mood kill. Seriously? You want to get us some fruit? What kind of response is that to a kiss like THAT? I stomp over to the couch and sit. It feels as though steam is going to come out of my ears, I am so frustrated. After a few minutes Darien sits next to me on the couch with a huge wooden bowl full of pineapple, strawberries, and blueberries. He gets a good look at my face, and laughs.

"I'm sorry Serena. I didn't mean to make you upset!" Darien looks so happy to have me in his home. I can't stay angry with his constant smiling and laughing. I stick my tongue out at him and steal a fork from his hand. Then I smile at him too.

"Darien, were we always like this?" I feel him go tense again. I look up at his eyes and see a troubled expression on his face. He picks up a strawberry with his fork and brings it up to my lips.

"Try this. These strawberries are really ripe and juicy!" Darien says, avoiding questions about our past again. Why does he keep doing this? Why doesn't he want me to know about our history?

I push the strawberry away, and look at him sternly. "Answer me, Darien."

Darien drops the fork into the bowl and puts it in the middle of the couch. He puts his head into his hands and his elbows onto his knees, then stares out the window. "I wanted us to be this way. I just didn't know how to talk to you and tell you how I felt."

"Well, you must have been pretty shy then. I imagine I would've like you from the moment I met you," I admit this openly. I want him to know that I have feelings for him. I don't go around kissing just anybody!

Darien snorts at my response to his confession. "The first time we met you had thrown a failed test at my head. I insulted your grade, and you freaked out before storming off."

Once again I am embarrassed. It seems like everything I am is a huge failure. So why does Darien like me? "I don't get why you want to be around me. Sounds like I was stupid, and klutzy, and just not good at anything!"

"Serena!" Darien yells at me. He moves the bowl to the floor then pushes himself to my side of the couch. He holds my cheeks with both his hands and stares at me. With a serious tone he says, "Yes, you fail your classes, because you don't apply yourself. And yes, you are klutzy sometimes because you don't always watch where you are going. But you are good at so many things! You have done something that no one has ever been able to do. You are so good at making me smile, and laugh. You are amazing at making me feel things I never had before. You are so wonderful at making me happy, no matter what we are doing."

"You are so good at being happy, no matter what. You smile and laugh and make everyone else around you do the same. Although you don't remember, you play the Sailor V game like a pro. And..." Darien blushes. "You are an amazing kisser!"

"Darien," I say in a low voice. "Thank you."

"Now eat some fruit with me!" Darien takes his fork and plops the strawberry into his mouth. He chews it up and smiles with his teeth showing. Strawberry seeds with strings of red are stuck to the crevices of his teeth. I snicker before pointing at his teeth and laughing. Darien pokes my nose before he puts a pineapple chunk on my tongue. "I love seeing you like this when we are together."

I cough before I chew on the pineapple. I pull the bowl up onto my lap and snuggle against Darien on the couch. I relish in the joy of feeding each other fruit for what is now lunch. I may not remember what we were like before, but judging by how we are now, it couldn't have been too bad. Right now, I feel as if the past doesn't matter all that much. After all, what's in the past is in the past, and we can always build a new future...right?
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Chance   15th April 2013, 1:39 pm

Chapter 6

It was his idea. After a belly full of berries and pineapples, Darien had the amazing idea to go to the park. Who was I to say no? Especially when I felt like I could follow him anywhere?

So, here we are, on our way to the park. Darien and I are walking together hand in hand. The fact that he is holding my hand is overwhelming to me for some reason. How can I still feel so awkward after that kiss in his apartment? I can still smell peppermint and cinnamon when I think about the kiss.

Sometimes I wonder how a man like Darien can seem so mysterious. I feel like I am learning something new about him all the time. I'm sure it helps that I don't remember much about him. All I can remember are these strong feelings. Somehow I can't help but think that we have always been close to each other. I know Darien said otherwise, but I just can't imagine not seeing his handsome face everyday. I'm can't imagine not wanting to interact with him in any kind of way. Just to get him to notice me, just to get his attention!

We have walked on this sidewalk for some time, I realize. I look up to Darien with a puzzled look. We are surrounded by several green bushes and trees crowded together on one side of the walk, while the other side has houses crowded together.

"Almost there," Darien says when he sees my confused expression. He lets go of my hand, which leaves me feeling kind of dull inside. I watch as Darien pulls a bunch of bushes apart. He nods his head towards the gap. "Go in."

I bend low and crawl through the gap to find myself in a secluded grove surrounded by large topiary and bushes. I hear the sound of the wind and the rush of moving water. I turn to my right to see a small pond with lily pads floating at the top. There are large rocks of all kinds of shapes embedded into the ground next to the water. A weeping willow tree sits discreetly behind the water surrounded by green bushes. Shade is built right into this small secluded spot. What sticks out the most to me are the many different colors and sizes of roses lining the "plant wall".

"Darien, this is amazing!" I say, walking deeper into the natural sanctuary. "How did you find this place?"

Darien walks over to the roses and breathes in the scent of a dark red one. The rose is blooming and is near its full potential. Finally, he turns to me and speaks.

"I found it by accident. One day I just woke up here without any recollection of how I even managed to get in here." Darien frowns as he recalls his memory, " I was kind of freaked out at first. I thought I was trapped. Then I heard the cars and found my way through the bushes."

I walk to his side, and hug him gently. I observe the flowers Darien has been smelling. So red. I turn to my ebony haired crush and smile up at him. "I'm glad you found it. Otherwise you would have never been able to show this place to me!"

"Yeah. Me too, " says Darien. He touches the buns on my hair and smiles back at me with that stunning grin. The one that makes me fall all over the place. My emotions just go haywire, and there's nothing I can do to stop it. "I'm going to nickname you after your hair!"

"What?" I ask. Who would name someone after their hair? That's just weird.

"From now on, you are my Buns!" Darien exclaims happily. He pulls a pocket knife out of his pants pocket.

"I feel like you are naming me after a pastry...not my hair!" I jest. I mean it too. I mean, I guess you could compare my hair to buns. I even refer them to that myself at times, but when I think of buns, I think of baked rolls glazed with a sweet oil and a pinch of cinnamon. Just like the ones mama makes!

"Well, here you are, Buns." Darien says happily, holding up a diagonally cut long-stemmed rose. Dark red, beautiful, and in bloom. A sharp pain rushes to the back of my head out of no where.

"I don't want to play this game anymore!" I sniffle between tears during my confession. I'm scared and frightened. Finally I cry out in mid sob, "I want to go home!"

I am looking up at a room full of people with blank eyes making strange moaning sounds. Their leader is a woman with a strange red scar on her forehead. She is wearing a black dress and is corpse like looking.

The scary lady responds to my cries, "Fine, then I'll send you away for good!"

She stretches her menacing arms out at me. The arms stretches towards me at a quick pace, as the lady grins at me while floating in midair. I hear a gasp from my right. I pay no attention. All I can focus on is my fear. I scream as loud as I can. I am so frightened. So scared. Then it appears.

A red rose in bloom with a sharp edge pierces the floor in front of me. The woman with her extended arm, is distracted. At the window of the building I can see a man. He is standing, calmly in a black tuxedo, cape, and top hat.I can see he is wearing a white mask.

The creature stunned, asks, "Now who might you be?"

The mysterious man answers. "I am Tuxedo Mask."

I reach for my head, which feels like it's about to split in two. I let myself fall to the ground and burst into tears from the pain. I can't keep myself from sobbing. The feelings from this memory are too strong. I can still feel the fear I had in that moment. I can feel the gratitude for my rescuer, this Tuxedo Mask person. At the same time though, I'm just scared.

The more and more I think about it, the more scarier things are. Something happened to me. Something that I'm not sure I even want to remember. I feel Darien pull me into his arms. I can feel that he is scared for me too.

"Buns," He whispers to me. "Are you okay?"

A sudden chorus of screams interrupts my silent sobs. I can hear a mob of feet running across grass. A little girl is separated from the running group, and she has stopped in front of the bushes. She is panting and breathing heavily. Darien and I can hear her sniffles. She wails in fear and we can hear her butt slam to the ground.

A hauntingly scary girl's voice giggles evilly. Suddenly a doll in a Victorian dress and long curly green hair tears a hole straight through the bushes. She is laughing and flying towards Darien and I with her hands in the hair.

Darien shoves me to the side. He grabs the doll in his hands by the shoulders and tries to push it away. It is extremely strong though, even for him. He looks to me for a split second and cries out to me, "Serena, save the girl and get out of here!"

I don't want to leave him behind, but I hear the girl yelling again, "Please! Mommy! Help me!"

She is younger, I have to help her first. I race toward the hole in the bushes, and start tearing at it to make the gap bigger with my bare hands. "Don't worry, I'm going to help you!"

The small brunette child looks up at me, and I see the water in her eyes. I see how scared she is. I don't want her to see my fear. I'm absolutely terrified. My worst fear has come to life. I'm totally freaked out by the idea of porcelain dolls coming to life. This child can't see that, though. I have to protect her at all costs.

My hands are bloody and all cut up by the time I can climb though the hedge. I ignore the stinging pain, and grab her by her wrist. "We have to get out of here. Now!"

She nods her head. I hesitate, and turn to look back at Darien. The doll is bearing its sharp teeth at him. He is frightened. I can see it in his eyes. He is putting all his focus on keeping the doll away from his head. In that moment of hesitation, I hear the little girl shout, "Watch out!"

But it's too late. She and I are knocked to the ground. A tall woman with her limbs basically floating in the air is smirking down at me. Her face is close to mine. She has the same hair as the doll's. The monster says in a threatening voice, "You can never escape me!"

The little girl lets go of my hand and starts to sneak away. I stay quiet, hoping she at least gets the chance to escape. I feel tears slipping down my cheeks. Why does this keep happening to me? Why do I attract danger no matter where I go?

I'm struggling to hold back sniffles. The demon laughs at me, "Cry, little girl. No one can help you. I'm going to suck your energy dry!"

Her necklace begins to glow. I just know this can't be good. The necklace is the same purple and pink as the webs from earlier today.

"Mars Fire Ignite!"

A fire blast hits the top of the cruel creature's hair. Her hair bursts into flames, and she finally gets off me. I back up against the hedge.

"Sailor Mercury, use your bubbles so I can help Darien!" Sailor Mars shouts from the top of the weeping willow. Sailor Mercury drops to the ground next to me.

"On it!" The blue haired soldier says before shouting her attack, "Mercury Bubbles Blast!"

The air is foggy and cold again. Hints of flames from the enemy's head are visible, but other than that I can't see a thing. I hear Sailor Mar's next move. "Fireballs Ignite Charge!"

Darien's struggling can no longer be heard. I hear the shattering of a doll hitting the ground, and I crawl to his general location. Noises are surrounding us. Sirens are ringing at a high screeching pitch. I hear the ringing alarm of fire trucks.

When the fog dissipates, the monster is gone. The doll is crushed to bits on the ground. Sailor Mars is enraged. She jumps from the tree, and rushes to me. She grabs my shirt and glares deep into my eyes. Then she is shouting, "Look Meatball Brains! I'm sure you've had a great vacation, but you need to knock it off! I'm not buying this memory loss act anymore! Transform! People are going to die if you don't help!"

Needless to say, I am absolutely terrified. This girl I don't even know, is shouting at me for something I can't help. "Stop it! I don't know what you are talking about!"

"You are lying. You know something we don't. You attacked a youma in your civilian form with some magical power!" Sailor Mars barks at me.

Darien jumps up and intervenes. He grabs Sailor Mar's wrists, squeezing them tight until she releases my school uniform, allowing me to go free. "Don't you ever lay your hands on Serena again, or else."

Sailor Mars quickly glances back and forth between both Darien and I before a look of jealousy appears on her face. I can tell, because I made the same face and felt the ping when she held him during the spider attack. She pushes Darien away from her, and I see the sting of rejection water in her eyes as she glares down at me.

Finally, Sailor Mars, with her vein looking like it is going to pop out of her forehead, yells at my rescuer. "Or else what? I have fire power, and you are just a human!"

Sailor Mercury finally cuts in the heated discussion, "Mars, this isn't going to help anything. Serena really doesn't remember a thing! Besides we shouldn't talk about this in front of 'you know who'."

I hear gunfire and shouting heard from the distance. I hear the shattering of even more dolls after each gunshot gets louder and louder.

"Mars, we have to go," Sailor Mercury says.

Sailor Mars sends an icy glare my way before jumping away from Darien and I. Mercury follows behind quickly.

Darien grabs my hand and we run out of the park the way we came. We run past the ambulances on the street. Women and men are laying on plastic carriers, with lifeless eyes, their skin a pale blue and purple as firefighters are pulling them into vans. They look like they have lost the will to live... they look like they are dying.

I try to avoid looking at all the sick people laying in plastic, as dolls float past them and are shot by gun. There is a sinking in the pit of my stomach, I feel frightened. What if this was my and Darien's fate? What if we ended up just like that; sickly and looking like we are about to die from exhaustion?

If Darien wasn't pulling me behind him, I would probably be frozen in place, unable to move. I just cannot tear my eyes away from the lifeless bodies being hauled to the hospital as quickly as possible.

Darien is leading us to his apartment. I scream as we barely dodge a bullet shot meant to be for the creature who is summoning dolls.

"We can't kill this thing!" A woman wearing a police uniform yells from behind a police car. She has that panicked look in her eye. Just like Darien did when he was trying to fight back the possessed doll. Just like the girl I tried to save. Oh god! What happened to her? I'll never know, and the guilt swarms in my gut as I think about it.

A man shoves his way past Darien and I, leading his own son away from danger. The people surrounding us became a blur, like a maze of humans trying to escape the dolls. I can't even tell where the toys are being summoned from anymore! The porcelain objects just pick people off one by one as the victims let out bloodcurling screams. There are too many! We are lucky to still be running to safety at all!

Another police officer shouts back to the woman cop, "We have to find Sailor Moon! She's the only one can defeat the enemy! We have to pull back, we have to find the cat. If we find the cat, we find Sailor Moon!"

The cat?

My notebook swirls its way back into my thoughts. "The cat. Luna. My pet."

We are standing in front of Darien's apartment when a group of children run past us, screaming as a doll gets shot behind them. The demonic toys shatters above the sidewalk from the impact of the bullet. Darien reaches for the doors with his shaky hands, trying to open them. The front doors are locked. Sirens from another ambulance truck shrieks on the street beside us as Darien tries pulling the doors again and again.

"C'mon!" Darien shouts at th door before he remembers he has keys to the building. Quickly, he pulls them from his front pocket. After several tries of fumbling around to find the correct key for the keyhole, he succeeds. Finally, the large metal door is unlocked, and Darien drags me behind him, running up several flights of stairs.

"We'll be safe, Buns. I'll protect you. I promise!"

He pulls me through the hall into his apartment. After making sure I'm inside, he slams his door shut and locks it. He locks the dead bolt. Finally he sinks in down against the front door and breathes heavily. I drop down to the floor next to him.

"Darien. I have to find her," I say through heavy breathes. I have to find my cat. That cat I haven't seen since I got home. Luna has to be important somehow.

"Who the hell do you have to find during this crisis?" Darien asks me incredulously.

I have a hunch that these youma appearing and attacking the city is because I was missing. I was in the hospital. I have to find her.

I answer with as much courage as I can muster up, because the truth is, I don't want to leave the safety of Darien's apartment.

"Luna."
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Chance   15th April 2013, 1:41 pm

Chapter 7

"You have to find your cat?" Darien questions me, suggesting that the very idea is ridiculous. "Buns, you've lost your mind."

I frown at his annoyance with me. He doesn't understand, but then again I don't even really understand. All I've known since I've woken up is that this cat is important. At last I explain myself, "No, I haven't. Darien, think about it! The only thing I could remember when I woke up was this cat, and now everyone keeps bringing her up, all the time! That cop said that if they find the cat, they find Sailor Moon!"

Darien's expression darkens. He stands up and walks towards me, lifting me up by my wrist. "Serena, you are not Sailor Moon. You just can't be. You and I are normal."

"Darien!" I protest, struggling to understand his refusal to believe me. "Raye and Amy talked about Luna as if she were a person at the hospital. You and Andrew said that I brought her with me everywhere. You even said you caught me talking to her all the time! Isn't that just a little too coincidental?"

Realization crosses his face. Finally, the pieces were clicking together for him too. He adds to my conclusion, "She has a crescent moon on her forehead. She is Sailor Moon's guardian cat!"

"So, I have to find her now. I don't remember anything, " I say, sighing to myself. I sit on his couch and put my head into my hand, resting my elbow on his couch arm, staring at his tv blankly. Where are you supposed to find a guardian cat in the middle of this fiasco? She wasn't with the Sailor Scouts, which means Luna must have found something or someone else more important.

"What do you remember, Serena?" Darien asks, sitting next to me. "Maybe we can piece together what you do know to make sense."

"I remember finding Luna, she was being attacked by kids. I saved her and took the Sailor V band aids off her forehead. I remember something about 'my destiny, and it not being a joke', and finally, I remember being saved by Tuxedo Mask."

"Tuxedo Mask has been missing ever since Sailor Moon disappeared," Darien cuts in. He looks confused. As if the pieces weren't meshing together properly for him either. Maybe he has issues with his own memories? "The destiny stuff makes sense if you are Sailor Moon. Can you transform?"

"I don't remember if I really am her, I'm just guessing. Molly and Mom said all this weird stuff has happened since a week and a half ago."

"That's when you got hit by the car..."

"Exactly. Isn't it just a little strange that all of this crazy stuff is happening right after I go to the hospital?" There is an awkward silence from Darien as he sits next to me looking guilty. He rubs his forehead and groans, as if somehow this is his fault. I wonder about his actions aloud, "Is there something you aren't telling me Darien?"

"No," Darien whispers. "Nothing at all."

He gets up and grabs the phone from his kitchen counter. "It's nearly 7:30. Serena, we should stay here tonight and search for Luna tomorrow."

"7:30? Mom is gonna kill me! I said I would be home by 7:00!" I exclaim, jumping up from the couch and stealing the phone from his hands.

I start dialing my home number when Darien interrupts. "Yeah. I don't think she's going to care about that anymore, considering the circumstances."

I watch him as he walks from the apartment hallway into his bedroom, slamming the door behind him. I pause for a second, wondering what his problem is before I finish dialing my number. I listen to the ringtone. Once, twice, and then a click.

"Hello?" My mother's worried voice sounded from the other line.

"Hi, Mom."

"Serena! Are you alright?" My mom asks me with an anxious voice, "Are you safe? Where are you at?"

"Mama, I'm safe, Darien took me to his apartment, and I'm staying here until tomorrow. Are you, Dad, and Sammy okay?" I hear my mother's breath stop when I ask about them followed by small sniffles on her end.

A bunch of kids start yelling, "Mrs. Tsukino! Mrs. Tsukino! Tommy hit his head!"

"Serena, I have to go. Stay with Darien, don't leave his apartment until we're all safe, " Mom says. I hear another clang before the kids begin yelling again.

"Mom, is that Serena?" I hear Sammy asking in the background. "I've gotta talk to her."

"Oh Serena, talk to your brother. I have to go take care of the other kids."

"What's up, spore?" I ask him, circling my fingers on the couch as I wonder why there were so many kids at our home.

"Serena, Luna came home this morning, but you weren't here," Sammy whispers. I hear him walking up steps before shutting himself in his room. I can hear the click of his door knob, and the lock turn.

"What?" I say, jumping up in surprise. Why would Sammy tell me this, of all people? How does Sammy even know I'd want information about Luna?

"Serena, I know," Sammy declares to me in an excited voice. "How come you never told me you were Sailor Moon?"

"I don't know," I answer confused. Doesn't that seem like the kind of thing your family should know? It'd sure save a lot of groundings. I mean Sailor Mars and Sailor Mercury are always out fighting monsters from the looks of today. "I don't remember anything, Sammy. Do you know where Luna is? I have to see her."

I hear Sammy groan.

"Sammy, what happened?" I ask, feeling nervous, biting my nails as I wait for a response.

"We were attacked," Sammy says slowly, "Luna and Dad... are gone."

"What?" I shriek. Not Dad! Were they dead?

"It's not what you think! We were at the grocery store, and this lady was using her arm to shoot lasers at people! Dad made Mom and I run. Luna was with me, and... well... she saved me!"

"Where are they, Sammy?" I demand an answer. Luna was my only chance to remember everything! She was my only chance, and now she and dad are both gone?

"All that the police could find were their photos, Serena." Sammy answers sadly. I hear him choke as he says, "I always treated Luna so badly... and she saved me."

"Sammy, I'll save them, but I have to figure out how to transform. So pull yourself together, and help me figure it out!" I say, trying to clear my head. I have Sammy on my side, and as my annoying little brother he should know me best, right? Little brothers are good for spying! "Was there anything about me, besides Luna, that was different a couple of months ago?"

"I have it, all you have to do is come home," Sammy answers. "I know what to say too. The scouts were too busy with youma to hunt you down, and Luna gave them to me."

"She gave you what?"

"Your scout stuff."

"So, all I have to do is come home?" I say hesitantly. I don't remember how to fight, I still don't remember anything! How would I even attack?

"Be careful, Serena." Sammy replies, "I believe in you, you've saved me before. I just didn't know it then."

I hear the phone click, and then a beep, beep, beep.

My nerves are shot. I was so close to all the answers I wanted! My supposed guardian is gone, along with all those answers. I know now for sure that I am Sailor Moon, though I don't remember a bit of it, besides Tuxedo Mask saving me against a creepy witch. Who, by the way, has also disappeared.

I have to somehow go all the way across town in the middle of a war between police, and sailor scouts against monsters, creepy monsters. Ones that can web you to walls, summon demonic dolls at will, can steal your body by taking your picture, but on top of all that, they steal energy. Seems simple enough. Monsters, guns, fire, and ice are all against me here, that's all. No big deal...

I collapse to the floor, and rest my head on the couch. I close my eyes, trying to let all the new information sink in. Like how my cat talks, apparently to my little brother, Raye, and Amy. Or at least that's how they lead on.

This is all too confusing, why does everything have to be so hard?

"Look Meatball Brains! I'm sure you've been having a great vacation, but you need to knock it off! I'm not buying this memory loss act anymore! Transform! People are going to die if you don't help!"

Sailor Mars reminds me of someone, with her flaring temper, and the long black hair. How she treats me in general...

Then it hits me. Raye is the only person who calls me meatball brains, well meatball anything! Which must make her and Amy the other Sailor Scouts! Which would explain why they never came me to see at the hospital after that day. These attacks started when I was in the hospital, so maybe they were just too busy dealing with them while I was ill?

Tears prick at my eyes and I feel unbelievably stressed and scared. I hate being responsible! So why would anyone make me in charge of defeating anything? Why would anyone make me responsible for the safety of an entire city? I'm not good enough. I just want to be normal!

"Just breathe, Serena." I mumble to myself before I inhale deeply. After about five seconds, I exhale. I frown when I don't feel any relief. " Ugh! I'm not even good at consoling myself!"

I slam my head into the couch cushion and let out my anger in one large squeal of rage. I punch the couch with both my fists, trying to vent out all my frustration.

"I'm only fourteen!" I shout. "No one should be saving the world at my age!"

I hear a creak from the hallway, and look up to see Darien's sad eyes looking down on me. I realize I must look like a mess, trying to kill his couch and screaming like a hyena.

"I take it you didn't have a good talk with your mom?" Darien asks, making his way to me. He wraps his arms around my waist and squeezes me tight, while brushing a kiss lightly on my cheek. I feel my muscles relax, my troubles ease while I'm enveloped by his warmth. At least Darien is here to help me through this. I can't imagine what I'd do without him.

We stay silent as he holds me. In this moment, everything is peaceful. Peppermint washes my senses and all I can think of is his scent, his hair, his eyes. His little quirks. I smile as he runs his finger in circles on my side. Even the fidgeting when he's nervous doesn't bother me. I want to accept every little pro and con he has, I want to know everything about him.

"Do you want to talk about it?" Darien whispers in my ear. His chin rests on my shoulder, and his hair tickles my neck as I feel butterflies in my stomach. The sort of tickling feeling that flutters all over my insides, making my brain feel numb as the strange emotion fills me up. That nervous feeling. That exciting feeling, followed by the wonder, 'Does he feel this too?'

I try adjusting myself in his arms so I can turn and see him, but that proves to be impossible. Only when I tear myself away from his amazing arms do I notice he is wearing his pajamas; green pajama pants and a white tank top. How does he stay so warm without a real shirt on?

I brush the thought aside and tell Darien everything plaguing my young adolescent mind.

"I'm scared. Dad and Luna are missing. The police could only find their photos, and now Sammy knows I'm Sailor Moon. He has my transformation stuff, somehow I am supposed to go there and get those things. Then I have to fight monsters and I don't even know how to fight!" I say everything quickly, trying to spill out my soul without having to deal with the feelings again. "I'm not brave, Darien. I'm scared. What if I... die?" My last sentence comes out in a scared, whimpering voice. I know I'm about to cry, It's what I'm good at. Being late, being emotional, and apparently failing everything. My eyes drop to the floor and I feel like a small child again, wanting protection from my mother and father during a thunderstorm. The fear of not knowing whether the thunder will zap your building, or crash near your window is overwhelming when you are small. Even as you get older those childish feelings of fear can reestablish themselves, just for different reasons. I'm scared of the unknown variables of the future. My survival, my family's safety, and what of Molly and Darien?

"Buns," Darien says, holding my chin in his hand. "Look at me."

My lips tremble before I look into his deep blue eyes, full of love and caring, full of adoration just for me. It's almost enough to make me forget I am afraid, but then I remember what tomorrow will bring. Or a gunshot will ring through my ears from downstairs, causing the images of the demonic dolls with their sharp teeth to pass through my mind, reminding me that I am not safe. No one is. Not even my father, the strongest man I've ever known, could protect himself from his fate!

"I believe in you. I know you are strong enough to make it through any trial," Darien begins his speech of reassurance. He pulls his hand away from my chin to push some tendrils of my blonde hair behind my ears. Darien outlines one of my pearl earrings with a look of pride. Then his eyes return to my own, and he begins to speak again. "From what I have seen on tv and in papers, Sailor Moon has never failed. It's clear that without Sailor Moon, Sailor Mars and Sailor Mercury cannot do their job to protect the city. You are needed. The city is safe as long as you do your job. Isn't that enough reason to believe you can do this, just like you always have before?"

I feel puzzled for a moment. The thought had never occurred to me that I could actually succeed at destroying a youma, which Darien was right about. I've clearly done it time and time again before. Even in my civilian form I was able to fight back a bit, and heal my friends. That was without trying though, and I still can't explain how that magic came about. Maybe it was just a scout thing. Although, Raye had said that I knew more than them because of it... so, how?

In that very moment I become conscious of my hands. I look down at them and stare intently, confusion surely written all over my face.

"What's wrong?" Darien asks.

I look up at him and wave my hands in front of him. In this moment, hope swells inside me. "Look at my hands."

"Yeah? They look perfectly normal to me." Darien responds, not understanding what I am getting at.

"Exactly! During the doll fight I scratched them to shreds, and blood was oozing out of them." I feel excitement building up in my belly. The knowledge of my cleric skills were making me grin from ear to ear.

"How did they heal so fast then?" Darien challenges me, grabbing my hands into his and analyzing them. He pokes them and prods them, trying to get a reaction. "You weren't even bleeding when we escaped."

"I think that I have healing and defensive powers," I begin, not sure of how to explain. I try anyway, "Remember when you and Molly fainted, there was that light? Well, it came from me."

Darien drops my hands, and pulls my face close to his, staring at my forehead, as if waiting for something to appear. "It can't be you." He utters in a breath, "Can it?"

"Darien, why are you acting so weird?" I ask, my voice sounding like a squirrel between pursed lips as Darien squishes my cheeks. He stares at my forehead a few moments longer before releasing me.

"It's nothing." Darien tells me. "I just thought that maybe I dreamed of you."

My breath catches. It is possible that I'm not the only girl he likes? Jealousy and sorrow erupt in my heart at the same time. Right before I respond, Darien checks his clock at the end table and speaks first, "Serena, it's getting late. Do you want to borrow some clothes?"

I sit, stunned. I really am going to sleep in Darien's apartment tonight! "Do you have anything that will fit me?"

"We'll have to see. I just can't let you sleep in that get-up. We'll throw your uniform in the wash before we go to bed." He says it so casually that I can't help but blush. What was he expecting? We've only known each other for three days...

Do I really want to go this far with a man I barely remember? My parents would kill me! Didn't mom think about this before she told me to stay with Darien? I'm only fourteen, way too young for sex! Then again, age is just a number, and if you really care about someone and love them then this was okay right? Do I love Darien though? Ugh. I don't know what to do!

When he returns from his bedroom with a pair of boxers and a black t-shirt, my heart is thudding and I am nervous by the proposition that we might sleep together. Darien sees my blazing red cheeks and smirks.

"I'll be sleeping on the couch of course."
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Chance   15th April 2013, 1:46 pm

Chapter 8

I toss and turn in Darien's bed. It is nearly morning, although you can't really tell from looking outside. Gray puffy clouds hang over dark dreary skies while water pours heavily to the ground. Between gunfire, sirens shrieking, and windows breaking, there really was no time to sleep the night before. So, I sit up half asleep and groaning, trying to find the will to put my feet on the carpeted floor. It was going to be a long day.

I wrap Darien's green comforter around my shoulders, before lifting myself from the bed. I wish I could get some half decent sleep, but with the obnoxious noise lingering from outdoors, I know that just isn't going to happen. So, might as well switch over my laundry and make some breakfast. It's the least I could do for Darien. Make him some kind of food for his hospitality towards me, and for all his help too.

I flick the light switch near the door on. The room is still dark. I flick it on and off, hoping maybe something is wrong with the wiring. The light still doesn't come on. Panicked, I open the door and race to the hall light switch, attempting to turn this one on too. Nothing happens.

"This can't be happening!" I cry out. My clothes are in the washing machine! They are soaked!

I hear Darien roll over on the couch. He pulls his pillow over his head, snoring lightly. I quiet myself, seeing that he is still asleep. At least one of us should get enough rest. We both have a lot on our plates, and he is just volunteering out of the kindness of his heart to protect me. I sit on the floor next to Darien, taking a small breath. I allow myself not to think of any problems, and will myself just to think of him instead.

I wonder why he grabbed my face like that, staring intently at my forehead last night? I just don't understand it. What of that dream too? He said he was dreaming of a girl. A girl who he thought might be me.

Darien interrupts my thoughts, rolling his pillow under his neck, and moaning, "Princess..."

I peer down at him, watching as little beads of sticky sweat drip from his hair onto his forehead. His eyes are squeezed together, and he is frowning. I rub his cheek with my thumb, trying to soothe him, just like he always does for me. He blinks his eyes at me, waking up slowly. He reaches his hand up to my cheek, almost as if to feel that I was really here. Darien smiles, and asks, "Will you lay with me?"

I nod my head yes and curl up on the couch next to him. I pull his arm around my side so his hand lies on my stomach, and rest my head on his other arm. I pull my blanket over both of us, sighing with content.

I'm not sure how much time passed as we laid together, all I know is that as we were snuggling together on the couch, I managed to fall asleep. When I wake again, I don't even want to open my eyes. So, I don't, and just lay there, thinking of how I have never been more happy in my life.

And when I think that, Darien proves me wrong. I feel him kiss my cheek, and listen intently as the words, "I love you." slips from between his lips. A confession I'm sure he wasn't ready for me to hear while awake. So, I continue to pretend to sleep, pretending that this was all that my day was to be about. Hearing sweet words, cuddling, and believing myself a main character in a romance novel.

Darien reaches for his wireless clock, checking the time. He pulls away from the couch, tucking me back in before attempting to turn the light on in the hallway. "Damn it!"

I rub my eyes, and sit up stretching my arms out with a big yawn. I watch as he curses and shakes his head. "The power has been out for a while," I say, clutching his blanket in my hands.

"Your clothes are in the washing machine," Darien mutters before punching his wall. "Now all you have are my boxers and t-shirt! When will this stop getting worse?"

"Did you really think that my skirt was going to be proper attire anyways?" I ask, trying to make a joke out of this. I'm upset myself, but at the very least I wanted to help ease his stress.

"There's no power either, and all I have are meat and eggs left," Darien says, growling in frustration. "I have no way to cook it, which means no breakfast."

"Hey what about your fruit?" I ponder. I search through his shelves, finding only pancake mix, a few pieces of bread, and a granola bar. I open his fridge, just to find him to be right. Raw bacon, sausages, and eggs stand alone in his bare fridge.

"We ate the last of it. I forgot to go grocery shopping yesterday," Darien responds. I can feel the disappointment and anger in himself building up. "I'm going to get dressed."

"Okay, Darien."

I keep searching through his kitchen. I look for anything that will be useful, shivering as the cold air chills my nose. In a drawer I find a flashlight, and quickly place it on the counter next to the bread and granola bar. After five minutes of searching, Darien returns and I've found nothing else. He scowls at my findings. "We'll get more."

"How?" I ask, confused about how we are supposed to get more of anything being locked up in this apartment with all the stores outside closed.

"We're going to borrow some things from the store," Darien answers. His voice is serious, and by his tone you can tell his word is final. "I will not be letting you run around town in my boxer shorts!"

"Darien, isn't that...stealing?" I ask, unable to believe that my crush would be willing to do such a thing.

Darien rolls his eyes. "Do you really think it hasn't already been done? How many people in this town are going to go to work? How many people prepared for this?"

"Not many...but stealing is wrong!" I protest against him, knowing it's useless. I can tell when he makes a decision, it's made. Nothing can change his mind or sway him.

"Desperate times call for desperate measures."

Before I know it, I am in one of Darien's jackets, wearing my dress shoes, and unfortunate clothing for a rainy day, preparing to go out into the cold. Darien is standing next to me, holding my hand tight as we get ready to run across the street to the store adjacent his apartment building. "Ready?"

I nod my head, refusing to let my hesitation halt me from doing what is necessary. He jolts off into the road, keeping hold of me the entire time, as puddles splash my legs with muddy, ice-cold water. I hiss in response to the cold, and then gaze at the store window. There is already broken shards of glass on the sidewalk. A security camera has been smashed inside the store walls, all before we ever showed up.

"I'll get clothes, you get food," I say, releasing his hand and walking quickly towards the nearest clothing rack. I hear Darien unzip some kind of bag, and then a minute later the crackling sounds of plastic follows. I find a pair of jeans in my size, and rip the tags off. I squeak to myself as I do what I consider unthinkable, pulling off Darien's boxer shorts in the middle of a store, so then I can shoplift a pair of pants. Next I search for a shirt and sweater. Just anything that will keep me warm. After pushing through a few racks, I find a black cotton tee, and a warm sweater. I put on my freshly stolen clothes, followed by Darien's jacket. Next, sneakers. "Please, please, please don't smite me where I stand? I need these!" I beg no one in particular. I swear, I will go to the temple and pray every week if I get away with this!

As promised, I meet Darien back at the front of the store. He hands me a black backpack. "You'll need this."

I strap the pack on my shoulders, not really caring what is in it. Darien gives me a granola bar, and I send him a grateful smile. Darien points to our right, across the street near Darien's apartment. Ultimately, we need to get to that point to begin heading towards my place. I eat my granola bar, tossing the wrapper aside, before saying, "Let's go."

I scan the street to look for any youma, and when I see none, I run towards our destination with Darien close behind. When we reach the apartment, I pull my back against the brick wall, creeping against the corner of the building to sneak a peek at that part of the road. A round of machine gun bullets echo through the town, along with the shriek of a demonic woman. I flinch, but I know it isn't from the direction we are heading. No one is around. There are cars abandoned on the road, but not much else. I sign the coast is clear to Darien, and we go around the corner, charging down the sidewalk before I trip over a crack in the cement.

I wail out in pain, reaching for my knee as blood slips down my leg from a small cut.

"I knew this would happen," Darien says patiently. "I packed six boxes of band aids, just in case!"

I give Darien a sullen look as he stands before me, pulling a box of band aids from his back pack. He patches me up, and puts the box in his bag before helping me off the ground.

"Hey, kids, what do you think are doing out here?" A man yells from a sidewalk between the buildings. "Everyone is supposed to be at home!"

Darien and I stand frozen. While every instinct tells me to run home, I know it would not be the best idea. On closer inspection of the man, I can see his police uniform, his gun, and a group of three others with him.

"We are trying to go home," I answer. I'm worried he will realize we stole stuff. I'm afraid we will go to jail, but luckily, what we have with us is of no concern to them.

"We will escort you to the nearest safe zone," the police officer informs us, making it clear we have no choice in the matter. "It is our job to keep civilians safe."

"Can't you just take us home?" Darien interjects, clearly as annoyed as I am.

The police officer glares at both of us, and tells his men to follow him. Caught between the officer in the lead, with police men behind us and on our sides, we are being forced to safety. Which is in the opposite direction of my house!

Being lead in the very direction you were heading away from stinks. After eight minutes of following the officer to the "safe" zone, we turn right, heading right towards a squad of men wearing camouflage. If only that was all!

The men wearing camouflage and big helmets are carrying military guns. Well, rather, they are attempting to shoot their machine guns at a target in the air. I hear a male's voice cackling, and search the air for the owner of the voice. With a flash of black lines, I see a man in a blue uniform with yellow buttons and trim appear. His hair is long, brown, and wavy. His eyes shine a piercing ice-cold blue as he laughs even harder, tossing a black ball of light at the men.

The men fall backwards on the ground, accidentally shooting their partners in front of them. I shriek, listening to the cries of the wounded, and the man with brown hair laughing evilly as he exclaims, "I will steal your energy for the negaverse!"

Waves of black light shine around the men as they begin to pass out one by one. When the last military shooter is down for his nap, the evil energy thief turns to us.

The police men stand in front of us, pointing their guns towards the floating adult. One of the police men says in a panicked voice, "Run!"

Darien doesn't hesitate before he pulls me away from the scene. Running us back towards the original path we were heading before he changes it up, uprooting us from the public sidewalk, and forcing us to take the back roads. As we race to safety, I cringe as I hear bodies fall and hit the pavement. Guilt swarms my entire body, before I begin to cry while we rush away. Why can't this healing magic trigger whenever there is any kind of danger? Why is it only when I'm hurt or about to get hurt? I just don't understand!

Finally, the running stops, and we both catch our breath for air. "We've gotta take back roads to your house, Serena." Darien says panting. His hands are on his knees as he is bent over, and I am standing next to him as tears fall down my cheeks. I feel so immature. Clearly, turning into Sailor Moon is the most important thing now, but all I feel is pain and empathy for the men who tried to save us. I feel like I let the men who were trying to protect the city in my place down by not using that white light on them.

"Don't do that to yourself, Buns. There was nothing you could do."

I didn't have to say a word for Darien to know what I was thinking. My emotions are written all over my face. "I can't help it, " I say, sniffling and wiping my cheeks with my hand.

"Pull yourself together, you can only help as Sailor Moon," Darien responds, trying to be sympathetic, but instead his calm voice just makes me even more upset.

"I know."

And I do know this, but it doesn't make everything any better at the moment. I think of Dad and how he is gone. My family needs me. I do have to pull myself together, how can I help them if I am crying all the time?

We are about a fifteen minute walk from home, but when you are sneaking around and trying to be quiet in the rain, it takes a lot longer than that. After staying out of sight on the back roads for some time, we come across a youma. It wasn't intentional, in a back alleyway, we were getting ready to pass the street between two buildings. Then we heard her. The large black spider crawls up and down each building, trying to find someone to steal energy from. However, she is weaker than before, a leg is missing, causing her to move much slower. She blends in the with the dreary dark day with her black color, but the red markings give her away.

"We have to wait until she is further along before we go," Darien whispers. I nod my head, afraid to make a noise. The only sound that would erupt would surely be a loud squeak if I open my mouth. Minutes feel like hours as we wait for the spider to finish her patrol atop of the buildings. Staying crouched behind a trash can on wet water isn't exactly an ideal situation for staying put.

When black widow is out of sight, Darien signals at me to go ahead. He'll protect my rear as I go ahead. I look up, making sure she really is out of site before getting out of my position. In a rush to get away from the building I accidentally trip over the garbage can lid with an "oof!"

Darien slaps his hand to his face. Our position is given away, I hear the clicking of her spider feet as she heads back towards our building. Darien helps me up, and throws the lid back towards the other building as a distraction. We take our chance, getting as far away from the youma as we can.

Soon we are almost at my house, and there are no more back roads to take. There is only the main and very open road. There are the now very usual abandoned cars, and the phone poles which have fallen to the sidewalks since the youma attacks started. So, for the most part, it's a clear path.

"C'mon Darien."

Finally, after what felt like an hour and half of racing around town, we make it to my home with nothing else in the way. The black widow fell for Darien's trick, and we were a okay. So far.

I knock on my front door. My schoolbag was still somewhere, forgotten about in Darien's apartment, and my key with it. There is no answer to my knocking, so I bang on the door again.

Sammy pokes two fingers between a couple blinds to peak through the window. He unlocks the door, letting Darien and I in. Sammy wraps his arms around me, squeezing me, and says, "I knew you would come, now you can save Mika and Dad!"

"Of course I will," I reply, trying to sound brave. I'm not very confident though. Every bit of me is scared, but I've also seen what these creatures can do. There is an unnerving silence in the home, and I whisper, "Where's mom?"

Sammy shakes his head, as if annoyed. "She's in her room with the neighbor kids."

"Why are they even here!?"

"Their parents never came home from work, so they came running here to mom." Sammy sighs, and says, "Forget about that, we need to get you transformed."

Darien and I follow Sammy upstairs to his bedroom. Sammy digs through his sock drawer, searching intently for something. Finally, he comes across a pink pen with a large red gem on top. "This is your Luna Pen, " He tells me in a whisper, trying to keep mom from hearing us. I hear Darien lock the door behind him, he obviously realized what Sammy was trying to prevent.

Sammy then places a large looking pink calculator type thing on his dresser. "And this is the communicator. This is how you keep in touch with the scouts."

I nod, waiting anxiously. At last, Sammy pulls out a golden brooch. There is a crescent moon shape picture on the front with gems surrounding it. "This is how you transform into Sailor Moon. You have to say 'Moon Prism Power' to get it to activate."

Sammy drops the brooch into my hand and folds my fingers over it. He stands back, watching me anxiously, waiting for me to use the tool.

I open my hand, and stare at it. I observe the crescent moon, the same crescent moon which was on Luna's forehead.

"This isn't a joke, Serena. This is your destiny!" Luna is lecturing me, standing in front of my mirror as I admire my new brooch.

I close my eyes and grin, putting my hands back together, before doing half spins from side to side. "My destiny?" I ask. "I must be dreaming!"

Luna closes her eyes, almost as if annoyed with me. "It's not a dream. I'll prove it to you Serena, just repeat after me. 'Moon Prism Power.'"

I salute to her and say, "Okay!" I throw my hands in the air and exclaim in a high-pitched voice, "Moon Prism Power!"

My memories were quickly resurfacing. This locket is terrifying, inducing my headaches, and memories I wasn't sure I was ready to know yet. I look up at Sammy with a frown.

"Transform!" Sammy raises his voice. "You've gotta save Mika and Dad!"

"I can't," I whisper, shaking and clutching the locket. "Once I say those words, I'm no longer Serena. I'm no longer normal. My life will be dictated by monsters."

"Buns, you have to." Darien says, "If you don't, everyone's life will be dictated by monsters. The difference is, you have the ability to destroy them."

"I know, but-"

"Don't you want to save Dad? Don't you love him?" Sammy cries out desperately, trying to guilt trip me.

"I'll be here for you." Darien declares. "We'll do this together. Trust me, Buns. You can always trust me."

Ultimately, I didn't really have a choice anyway. I lift the brooch in the air with my hand. I pause for a moment, closing my eyes as I say in a hesitant voice, "Moon Prism Power!"

Lights swirl around me as I spin in circles, completely out of control of my body. I'm naked, covered by the shining lights, with pinks ribbons tying together around my waist, my arms, and legs, forming my scout uniform. In my scout form, my hair is long and past my waist again.

Sammy is staring at me in disbelief. He knew I was Sailor Moon, but I suppose actually seeing me transform solidified everything for him. Darien crumbles to the floor behind me, and Sammy looks towards him with wide eyes. "Hey, Serena...what's wrong with your friend?"

I turn back towards Darien to see the problem. He is holding his head in pain, as he moans, "What's happening to me?"

Rainbow spotted lights surrounds Darien's entire body, and within a minute he is standing in front of us, wearing a black top hat, and a mask. His outfit has changed and he is wearing a tuxedo and cape, along with some dress shoes.

"Serena! You didn't tell me your friend was Tuxedo Mask!" Sammy exclaims.

I'm stunned by Darien's transformation. The way he was going on last night, I honestly believed he wasn't Tuxedo Mask. Yet, here he stands looking confident as if he was the transformed superhero the whole time. So, why didn't he help during the attacks? Why was he basically useless every time? Although I wanted to rip him apart for not revealing himself sooner, it was time to search for the youma. I have to help the other scouts first. "Sammy, how do I use this communicator?"

"Oh. Right! You click this button for Mars, " says Sammy as he clicks a button on top of the communicator. The little round disc meant to show a picture shows nothing but fuzzy gray. "Weird. Well, we can try Mercury by clicking this one." The same thing happens. "Luna said this would work as long as the scouts have their communicators!"

A dreadful thought scratches its way out of the corner of my brain. "They probably don't have them. Something must've happened."

This means that only Tuxedo Mask and I are left to defeat the creepy youma...

Suddenly, mom starts banging on Sammy's door asking, "Sammy, what's going on in there? We have to be quiet! You know that."

"Go," Sammy whispers to Darien and I, pointing at his window. "I'll hold her off."

I look to Darien, and he is already opening the window to jump down. He's crazy! I fetch the Luna Pen from the dresser, and stand next to the window, waiting for Tuxedo Mask to lead the way. He pulls himself onto the windowsill, and jumps to the nearby tree branch, using his hand to grab the branch and hop down to safety. Hesitantly, I follow his path, feeling every bit of relief when I reach safety just as Darien had.

I turn to him and question him in an aggravated voice, "Why didn't you tell me you were Tuxedo Mask?"

"I didn't know," He mumbles, scratching his top hat. Oh the wierd fidgeting is back!

"How could you not?"

"I don't know!"

The interrogation is interrupted when a crash comes from upstairs. I hear a bunch of kids shrieking bloody murder before they suddenly stop. Sammy's voice screeches, "Serena! Help me!"

"I know the girl who burned my leg off is in here! I watched her go in this house!"

Black Widow.

I hear my brother scream again. I look up and get ready to climb the tree in desperation to save my brother.

That's when I see his body falling out of the window. His body makes a crushing sound as it smashes to the ground. Sammy makes a strangled sound before he stops moving all together.
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Chance   15th April 2013, 1:48 pm

Chapter Nine

"As we gather here this morning to remember the dear and precious life of Sammy Tsukino, I know that many of you are dealing with mixed emotions. "

I listen as the pastor speaks about my little brother. The man is wearing black and white robes. He stands above Sammy's casket, and I am reminded of how I couldn't save him. I feel so sad, so angry at everything, and yet I stand here with a cold, blank expression on my face. Darien is standing next to me, squeezing my hand tightly, the only reassurance he can attempt to give me at this awful time.

I look around the park filled with cherry blossom trees. Isn't it amazing that today of all days the sun decided to gaze down on us? It shines brightly, as if it is mocking us on our day of misery. Sammy's casket is surrounded by people painted in black. My mom is crying into my father's chest, and dad, well, he simply looks hollow inside. We have all lost a part of our hearts.

"On the one hand, there are emotions of great sadness. Sadness not for Sammy, because Sammy is in a far better place, but sadness because we have lost a dear loved one. Sadness that we can never be rid of completely..."

"No!" I declare, snapping out of my sad glimpse of Sammy's possible future. I was not going to let any of that happen. He was going to live!

I hear the clicking of Black Widow's feet as she crawls out of Sammy's window. She heads directly towards Sammy, intent on draining his energy next. I don't think about what might happen if his energy happens to get drained too, all I focus on is getting to him before she does.

I scramble towards Sammy as quickly as I can. The image of his pale and fragile body in a casket is all I can think about as I race to his side. The spider reaches him first. "I will steal your energy!" She squeals in delight.

If she steals his energy, how will be able to heal at all? How would he have a fighting chance? She shoots her sticky webs at his body, and he is covered in her white threads.

"Stop it!" I shout at her. Black Widow looks up before shooting her webs at me too. I barely manage to dodge them, and they hit the tree behind me.

"Sailor Moon, use your tiara!" I hear Tuxedo Mask call out from the distance.

I don't know how to stop her. What good will my tiara do? I reach for my tiara, but as soon as I do this I see the webs surrounding Sammy turning purple. His energy is being drained!

I lose sense of everything and all I can see is red. I can hear myself screaming at the youma not to touch Sammy. I can feel my fists as I punch into her furry body again and again. I can't stop myself, all I can think about is how I want this beast to die.

When the red is gone, I realize I have been thrown across the yard. Black widow is oozing with orange blood where my nails had dug into her flesh. Tuxedo Mask's rose is sticking out of her forehead, and yet she is still draining Sammy's energy.

"Since you care about this little brat so much, maybe I will turn him into a delicious lunch!" The spider laughs at me before she allows her pincers to become large with green poison dripping from her fangs. She leans in closer and closer to Sammy's neck.

"NOOO!" I scream hysterically. The white light pours from my body and turns into a beam, striking her head, and knocking her away from Sammy.

Tuxedo Mask jumps from the tree branch near the window, and stands next to Sammy with six sharply stemmed roses ready to attack. He turns to me and yells, "Moon Tiara Magic!"

At first my mind draws a blank, then realization dawns on me. I pick up my tiara, aiming it at the monster, who lay crippled, with blood gushing from her head wound. I throw my tiara at her.

"Moon Tiara Magic!"

My tiara has changed from a pretty headpiece into a golden, glittery, discus of destruction. When the disc hits the Black Widow, piercing her chest, the spider screams out in pain before slowly crumbling into a pile of dust on the ground.

"I-I did that?" I whisper to myself in disbelief. I touch my forehead, and feel that my tiara is back in its original place. It was magical and scary all at the same time. If someone like me had a power like that, to dust youma with a piece of jewelry, it was no wonder I was so important to the sailor scouts. How though? How did I have this power while Sailor Mars and Sailor Mercury didn't? I lift my tiara off my forehead to observe the pretty gem in the middle with gold intertwining in small swirls you can barely see surrounding the red stone. This is the tool that I use to save the world all the time. It was so simple, and yet so...amazing.

"Serena!" Darien hollers at me, interrupting my thoughts. He is leaning over Sammy looking like a nervous wreck. "Serena, you have to do something!"

I rush to his side, and I see that Darien has ripped Sammy's t-shirt apart to look for potential injuries. Sammy's chest is covered with a huge purple blotch the size of my open hand. The blood drains from my face as my heart is filled with panic.

"We gather here this morning..."


"I'm pretty sure his ribs are broken and have pierced his lungs. Serena, if you don't heal him, he can die here!" Darien tells me, his voice full of worry. He is right; there are no ambulances available with the situation in town. People are dying or having their energy drained left and right. No one was going to risk their life to save my little brother...not to mention there is no room in the hospital!

I crouch down next to Sammy. The rain is still pouring from the sky, and when I touch his face with my gloved hand I can feel his cheeks are icy cold through the cloth. "Sammy."

Tears fall down my cheeks as I look down on my little brother. His lips are turning blue, and his hair is soaking wet. We can't move him in his condition without potentially causing even more internal bleeding, and making things worse. I close my eyes, not wanting to see Sammy hurt like this. I try to concentrate all my energy on healing him. Healing him with a magical power that is only triggered by danger. I think about how the military men are quite possibly dead, Sammy could end up that way too.

"Sammy, I don't want you to die," I say, whimpering. "I know you are annoying, and drive me crazy. I know we don't always get along, but I love you so much! I refuse to let this happen."

I put my hands over Sammy's chest and focus. I imagine Sammy's cracked ribs fusing back in place, the blood going back, and the holes healing up. I focus and concentrate, and that is when I feel a light warmth from my hands. I peek my eyes open to look at my hands. A light is radiating from my fingers and palms, and Sammy's chest is beginning to look like its regular skin tone again. The process is slow. Only while I sit over him, moving my hands in a circular motion do I realize I am soaked to the bone.

I turn to Darien, who is still in his Tuxedo Mask form. He smiles at me, beaming with pride. I turn back to pay attention to what I am doing. A queasy feeling invades my body, and as the last spot of purple blood disappears, I feel dizzy and have no choice but to stop.

I look at Sammy's face, waiting expectantly. Sammy's eyes blink open, and I sigh with relief.

"Serena?"

"Yes, Sammy?" I ask him. His eyes are watery just like mine. I smile at him, happy that he is alive.

"Thank you."

"Hey, if I didn't save you, who would I pick on?" I say, chuckling. Sammy laughs with me. A few seconds pass by before Darien decides to do one last check up on Sammy.

After a few minutes, Darien determines that Sammy has a broken leg, a slight concussion, and Sammy admits to having an aching in his back. Regardless of all that, Sammy will be alright. I saved him. I learned how to use my healing power, although it drained most of my strength to do so.

Darien or well, Tuxedo Mask jumps from tree branch to tree branch until he is able to jump onto Sammy's window safely. Within minutes he has gone downstairs and unlocked the door. He comes back to Sammy and I so then he can carry Sammy inside.

"Ouch!" Sammy cries out when Tuxedo Mask carefully lifts him up. Tuxedo Mask looks at him for a moment as Sammy winces. "It's okay Tuxedo Mask, it's just my leg."

Darien nods, and says, "It's okay, I'm training to be a doctor, so I know how to take care of your leg. It will be hard without a cast though. It's a temporary fix until we save the city. "

"Are you crazy?" I blurt out. Like hell I was going to leave my brother alone in his condition! I watch as Sammy moans and cries from the pain of his leg. I can't leave him! What is another youma comes and finishes my brother off? Then it would be my fault for not staying there to protect him.

"What do you mean?" Darien asks, waiting for me to open the door to the house. I was barely hanging on as it was. I'm so weak and dizzy. It's a struggle just to stand. I feel like I weigh a million pounds.

"I'm not leaving Sammy." I answer firmly. I open the door, allowing Darien to go inside, and quickly follow behind. I slam the door shut and lock it. "What if another youma comes after my family?"

We are up the steps, and I hold the door to Sammy's room open for him again. Darien carefully places Sammy on the bed before turning around and saying in a exasperated voice, "They did not come for your family. Serena, that youma was after you!"

Sammy wails as Darien places two pillows under his broken leg. "It hurts! It hurts!"

Darien finds our backpacks in the corner behind the door. Mom is lying on the floor next to the closet, passed out. Darien was right. The youma was after me, Serena Tsukino, the girl who had burned off her leg. Not Sammy, not Mom, just me. This was my fault. This was why a Sailor Scout never tells their family who they are.

Darien unzips the backpacks and digs into his until he finds a box labeled "NyQuil". He places the box on the bedside table, and says, "Take this for pain. We'll make sure you get to the hospital as soon as possible. I'm not going to risk wrapping your leg since we don't have any splints or a first aid kit, so you need to stay put."

"What am I supposed to do?" Sammy protests. I look around the room, trying to ignore my mother lying there with her energy drained, but I just can't. With a small burst of energy, I rush to my mother's side, quickly sitting next to her. I wrap my arms around her, holding my mom tightly to my chest, all the while feeling so guilty. I lead the youma here, this was my fault. Is this really a Sailor Scout's life? Am I destined to bring misery to my family?

All these questions aside, I still have an obligation to fulfill. I have to make sure that Sammy will be safe to heal without mom's help while I am out fighting youma. I have to find a way to be positive. Finally, from the view next to mom, I eye Sammy's bookshelf full of books and manga. I feel like I'm going to trip over my own two feet, so I point Darien towards the shelves. Darien takes my hint and places a pile of manga and Goosebumps books on the table as well.

"What about snacks and water?"

I sigh. Sammy will have a list of things he will need before he would be willing to let us go. "I'm going to take a nap, Tuxedo Mask."

Darien nods, and with his acceptance, I make my way to my bedroom. I throw myself onto the bed wet, uncomfortable, in scout uniform, and all. Regardless of all the craziness, and feeling drained to the max, I was going to get some beautiful sleep.

I am standing at the cross walk, patiently waiting for the green human to appear on the digital sign. What is only seconds feels like hours. Tears are pouring from my cheeks. I'm crying yet again. I'm so useless. So worthless. There is nothing I can ever seem to do well. Maybe they were right.

The light switches, and finally I am free to cross the street. I hear a voice from behind me before the impact of a blue jeep crashes into me.

Darien's voice sounds panicked as he shouts, "Serena, watch out!"

But it is too late. I've already been hit by the car. My body crumbles to the ground and all I can feel is pain. The colors of vehicles and the road swirls around me as my knees hit the pavement.

"Serena!" Darien calls to me from downstairs. He sounds exasperated, "Do you know where Sammy's game boy is?"

"No. Is he sure he didn't leave it at Bobby's?" I call back, still groggy and sleepy.

"I didn't!" Sammy yells. I slap my hand to my forehead. Why didn't Darien ask Sammy? Now I was awake, and only after half an hour of sleep, according to my alarm clock. It's so late already, with only a couple of hours until dinner time.

I drag myself to the kitchen, determined to find some fruit or crackers or something. No use in taking rations from the backpack if we don't have to. How long would it take until we defeated the youma? Were we going to be able to find the scouts or Dad or Luna? Everything was a mystery, I wasn't even sure I'd be able to defeat the monsters, even with Tuxedo Mask's help.

I find bananas, and feast myself to as many as I can fit into my stomach. About ten. Although I looked slightly like I had a baby bump, I didn't care. I hadn't had anything but a couple of granola bars all day long.

I sit at the table, my chin in my hands as I think about my dream. It wasn't a dream, or at least I didn't think it was. Darien was there. He was there when I got hit by that car, he just had to be. Darien was the first person I saw at the hospital!

"I…I feel so terrible about what happened the other day."

"I knew I shouldn't have come. Andrew said it would be a good idea, but I knew better."

These were the last two of the first three sentences he had said to me before he left the hospital. Why was he apologizing for my getting hit by a car? It just didn't compute.

"Buns," Darien whispers next to my ear, hugging me around my shoulders from behind. "It's time to go. Sammy is all set up, and all we can do is let your mom and the kids sleep it off."

"You were there," I accuse Darien, feeling frustrated. I know Darien knows what happened. I'm getting so annoyed, feeling like he is hiding things from me on purpose. "You were there when I was hit by the car."

Darien looks startled for a moment, confused about my sudden change of topic. He sits next to me at the dining room table before answering me. "I tried to warn you. I was following you because you were crying."

"Why was I crying?" I demand an immediate answer, glaring at the table as if it were Darien. I'd rather not face him right now, I'm too flustered and upset.

"You failed another test."

What a simple answer. I really failed everything! After I get through all this, I'm studying more than I ever did before...however much that was.

"I'm done talking about this. Let's go," I finally respond. Honestly, I just feel so disappointed in myself. I have apparently been an idiot all the time he has known me, and I don't want to talk about how I was crying over a failed test when I had gotten hit by a car. Who wants to admit that?

Darien pats me gently in reassurance before leaving the table to gather our supplies. Before I know it, he is pulling the black backpack full of food over my shoulders. I sigh before getting out of my chair and leaving the dining room to search out yet another monster. For some reason I have a feeling the first youma was an easy one.

I lock the front door before we finally exit the house and go back onto the streets. Everything is eerily quiet.

"So, how we do search for a youma?" I ask looking up at Tuxedo Mask. He frowns before fixing his top hat, and tapping his fingers over his leg.

"I'm not exactly sure. I usually just knew where you were," Tuxedo Mask answers. "I guess we could just search from store to store until we find one?"

"That plan is better than no plan I guess."

So, that is exactly what we did. The first store was a candy store, then we visited a jewelry store. Next, a clothing store. Everything had been quiet. Very quiet. So silent that you immediately assume something is afoot. Much like when you are babysitting a toddler, and there is no noise at all. When you go to check on the baby after your bathroom break, the kid has gotten into the baby powder you had forgotten to close. It was the "Oh crap your baby was into something" silence.

And it was making me very nervous.

While walking near a little doll shop, Darien and I hear the tinkering of a music box. The sweet tune of "Swan Lake" sings through the silence. Darien puts his finger in front of his lips, and slowly, we sneak through the open doors of the shop, careful not to make a sound. From the entry way you would turn left, go straight for a few seconds, before turning right, then go down the hall to the big room filled with doll covered shelving. However, we stayed at the entry way, very cautious of what may be inside the room.

From the view of the entry in the hall there is a large china cabinet full of porcelain dolls, with different colors of Victorian dresses. Their hair is in different colors of blonde, brunette, and red, in curls or fancy hair styles. They are beautiful with their perfectly rose blushing cheeks, glass eyes gazing intently down on you, and succulent pink lips. The perfection is what made them creepy. In the china cabinet, right in the center is a large jewelry box, with a ballerina dancer spinning along as Swan Lake plays along with her. On the inside of the jewelry box cover is a mirror which allows me to see the store from where I am standing.

I watch as the little girl who I saved at the park is playing with dolls. She has a doll version of Sailor Moon, Tuxedo Mask, Sailor Mars, and Sailor Mercury. The little girl also has dolls of a police man and woman followed by a couple of plastic people too. She sits at the small table in the middle of the room amusing herself with her roleplaying.

"Save us Sailor Moon!" She cries out, forcing the plastic citizens of Tokyo to run around in a frenzy. "The Negaverse will steal our energy!"

"I will save you! In the name of the moon!" The girl says in a proud voice, her tone of voice changing to match my own.

"I will use Mars power!" She yells, changing her voice to sound exactly like Raye. Then she switches to Amy's. "I will use my brain to defeat them!"

Darien starts to tap his fingers quietly at his side. He was nervous. I could feel something wasn't quite right also. I stay still, too scared to move.

The child pulls out a Victorian doll similar to the one the doll youma summons. In an evil cackling voice she laughs and bellows, "No one can defeat the Negaverse! Nephlite will destroy you all!"

She uses the doll to stomp on the other dolls. When the human dolls are crushed to tiny pieces, I gasp.

The little girl uses her neck to rotate her head 180 degrees. She sees us in the mirror and smiles at us. I shriek as she rotates her head back to how it was supposed to go and transforms into the youma. Her white limbs float in the air, before she sends her supposed arms at the china cabinet. The glass breaks and shatters, allowing all the dolls to fall to the ground before cracking into pieces as well.

This is when things got really scary. Somehow, the dolls, while broken into pieces, still manage to take their mostly put together bodies and start walking towards us.

"Mommy. Daddy. Love us," They chant, slowly making their way towards us. "Mommy. Daddy."

"Mommy! Daddy!"

"No! Nu uh! Not me!" I shout before booking it out the door. I was not going to hang around for a bunch of scary dolls to capture me!

"Don't make us kill you. If you don't love us, we will kill you."

"Leave me alone! You're freaking me out!" I keep my distance from the broken dolls. When I turn back to see where Tuxedo Mask is he has jumped onto the roof of the small doll store, getting ready to prepare his attack, leaving me as the only possible victim for the deranged toys. My eyes widen as the toys with broken limbs and missing eyeballs turn towards me, creeping towards me with their arms in the air.

"Mommy, hug me!" The Victorian doll summoned by the youma says, flying in the lead after me. I jolt into a run as quickly as I can.

This can't be happening to me! I trip and fall to my knees right as the doll is about to bite into me with her sharp teeth. "Ouch, that hurt! I don't want to do this anymore."

Lightbulb! I reach for my tiara and aim it at the doll. Her mouth is wide open as she heads back towards me, hoping to dig her teeth into my flesh. "Moon Tiara Magic!"

Moon dusted! The doll is a pile of dust, and there is only a whole bunch more to destroy, plus the youma. The possessed toys are closer to me than they were before, and the youma has joined them. She aims her arms towards me and shoots them. I scoot back as quickly as I can with my feet. One of her demon arms manages to cut my leg while the other misses.

I cry out in pain, reaching for my calf which is now bleeding profusely. My red boot is sliced through. If it hadn't stopped raining, the shoe would have become a water bucket for sure.

The green haired creature throws another set of sharp arms at me. This time I am in too much pain to move and my legs get cut again. I'm crying as the wounds sting and bleed all over the sidewalk. I close my eyes in defeat when Tuxedo Mask finally throws his roses at the cruel woman.

"How dare you hurt this young woman!" Tuxedo Mask snaps at her. "She is the only one who can save the city now."

"Exactly," The youma says grinning. "This is why she must die!"

Tuxedo Mask pulls a black stick with a white tip out of thin air; it looks like a cane. He twirls it in circles before he starts hitting her with it. He randomly jabs at different places of the youma's body. The youma jumps back, preparing to shoot her arms at him. The dolls are trying to get close to him, although their march is extremely slow. They are trying to aid their master.

"Watch out!" I call from the distance, cringing in pain. I pull my tiara off my forehead and get ready to throw it when Tuxedo Mask is out of the way.

Tuxedo Mask jams his cane into the youma's right foot. She stumbles backwards, screeching in pain.

"Sailor Moon, attack her right ankle!"

I aim as Darien jumps away, and shoot my tiara at her right foot. "Moon Tiara Magic!"

I smile as the youma crumbles to the ground. Her dolls, who had nearly reached Tuxedo Mask, fall to the ground all at once, breaking into smaller pieces.

"We did it," I say weakly.

"Two down, one more to go!" Tuxedo Mask says before racing to my side.

"I don't feel so well," I comment, looking at my bloody legs. I feel dizzy and tired. "I feel sleepy."

Darien is reaching into his backpack and pulling out a first aid kit before everything turns blurry, and dark. Well, it was late anyways...
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Chance   15th April 2013, 1:50 pm

Chapter 10

It felt like only a few minutes had passed before I woke up to the stinging of peroxide on my wounds. The sudden pain followed by the sizzling of bubbles made me want to cry out in agony. I bite my lip, pinning it down with my teeth. The inside of my mouth feels like it is going to tear from the pressure of my gnawing.

Tuxedo Mask dumps more peroxide on my cuts, and I can't hold my cries in anymore. "Owww! Darien, that hurts!"

At the sound of my voice, Darien pauses before looking down on me with sympathy. "I'm sorry, but these cuts need cleaned before I wrap them in gauze."

"These wounds are too big for that, and we have another battle to fight!" I protest. I bat his hands and peroxide away from my legs. "Healing is faster."

Darien nods his head in acceptance. Obviously he knows just as well as I do that twenty minutes of resting versus days of waiting for large gashes to heal was the better choice, for now at least.

I raise my hands above my legs, and whisper, "Heal, please."

I close my eyes tight, imagining the cuts closing up, I imagine the bleeding has stopped. The familiar warm feeling in my fingertips appears, and I smile with a sense of relief. My legs tickle where the cuts are beginning to close up. I open my eyes to watch the tickling feeling. Where the gash is sealing, I can see golden glitter before it disappears, leaving nothing but clean skin.

"For someone who doesn't like doctors, you would sure make a good one." Darien jokes. He brushes his fingers against my cheek, causing my cheeks to warm up and turn pink.

I poke Darien's nose and say with a laugh, "Well, it's easier with a magical advantage, I'm sure!"

"Yeah."

Darien smiles at me. I can't help but smile back. This man has been here for me quite possibly through the worst part of my life, and the best parts too. Although he didn't think he told me when I was awake, Darien admitted to being in love with me. A sentiment I wasn't sure I could return yet, but someday I want to be able to. After this upcoming battle we would be able to have that chance.

I would get the chance to fall in love.

"Darien?" I ask as he pulls my face closer to his, our noses just barely touching. Darien stares at me with his deep blue eyes, and I gaze back. The hairs on the back of my neck stand up as a tingling creeps up my back.

"Yes, Buns?" Darien responds, pressing his nose against mine, leaning in closer and closer to kiss my lips.

"We should go," I answer. Darien frowns as I pull away, using his shoulders as a crutch while I stand up. I see his confused expression, and feel the sudden urge to explain myself. "The last youma has my dad and Luna, remember?"

Darien's face darkens.

"Right," He retorts. "We'll get the cat so she can help you remember being Sailor Moon."

"And everything else," I remind him. "I'll remember everything about you too! Isn't that great?"

"Fantastic..."

Why was he acting this way? Didn't he want me to remember our past? He was being sarcastic and cold about something wonderful, unless... he really was hiding something from me.

"Darien, I'm going to ask you one last time," I declare, frustrated and annoyed with his strange behavior. "Are you keeping something from me?"

Darien flattens out the jacket of his tuxedo and turns away. I watch as he shakes his head before he turns back towards me. Darien races up to me, grabbing my face into his hands. He reaches down and hungrily forces his lips down on mine.

At first I am surprised by this response, but as he passionately kisses my lips, I let all my anger fade away. I pull my arms over his cape covered shoulders and hold Darien closer to me. I need him. I need his passion that is there only for me.

"Serena," Darien breathes when we break for air. "I'm in love with you."

His lips are on mine again, saving me from having to return his sentiments. Sentiments I don't have yet. Is it possible to love someone you've hardly known at all?

But then again, I do know him. I've known him for months, I just don't remember anything about it. How can I know for sure how I feel about him now, when I don't remember how I felt then? This was just too complicated!

Soon it is so dark that I can barely see a thing. Another day is ending. Another day where there was nothing but pure craziness followed by Darien making me feel all kinds of emotions. Darien senses my change in emotion and stops his kisses, looking around before he reaches for my hand.

"Darien, we have to find a place to take a break and eat," I decide, raising a hand over my belly. "If I don't eat soon my stomach will turn into a growling monster!"

Darien chuckles. "Oh trust me, I know."

I stick my tongue out at him before laughing myself. I love that even in the darkest times we can still act lighthearted.

"So, where do you propose we eat?" I ask Darien, shoving him to the side with my waist.

He shoves me back with his waist, and sticks his tongue back out at me. Sometimes he acts so childish and cute! Something that I assume is out of character for Darien, considering how I've seen him act around Andrew.

"Well, I propose that we eat somewhere 'fancy'," Darien shrugs. I hold his hand, and we walk side by side in the pitch dark. Darien stops for a moment to reach into a small pocket in my bag. After rustling through the tiny flap he finds what he is looking for and zips the pack up again. A little beam of light shines from the item in his hand, a wonderful flashlight!

"Where will we find a place that is fancy in the dark, in a city that is practically abandoned?" I ponder, thankful for the little light that was showing us where to walk.

Darien sighs, "You're right. Maybe we should go back to the doll store."

I think of the broken toys, I think of how the dolls had attacked us. I feel a shiver go down my spine, and shake my head no. "There is no way I am going back in there!"

"Let's just find a place to sit then. I'm hungry too!"

So, that's exactly what we do. After walking for a while, we come across a huge building that looks like a cross between a dome and a school. The roof of the building is white and round. The building itself is built from bricks which have been painted over to be white. It has the school feel because of the rectangular shape, the fact that it is rather large, and all the windows. Together we sit at the front doors of the building, which are made of glass as well.

"This place is kind of fancy," I whisper to Darien, elbowing his arm.

"Yeah, well, it seems like the people working here didn't get the memo we are in the middle of a youma apocalypse," Darien says sarcastically. "They may be the only building in the city still using a generator! It's been ten hours!"

"Well, that's a good thing isn't it?" I ask.

"Depends. It's nice they have water, electric, heat, and what not, but what if the enemy comes because it is clear they are alive?"

"Good point."

"Well, either way," Darien says, grabbing boxes of food from my backpack. "Since that's what we're aiming for, might as well stay put."

Darien places a box of chocolate chip cookies in my lap. When I open the box I joke, "As long as I have cookies I'll stay here forever."

"Well in that case..." Darien laughs, dropping another box in my lap. "Hopefully this will keep you here for five minutes."

I glare at him. I do not eat that much! I mean, when I'm in a rush I can sure plow through a plate of curry rice, but that doesn't mean anything. I pull out the plastic container holding the chocolatey goodness. I open the package before I purposely eat a cookie slowly.

Darien chuckles at me before indulging into a tiny container of dried seaweed. He stares up at the moon with a sad expression on his face. I look up at the bright, white, sliver in the night sky and try to figure out what was so horrible about it. I squint, but see nothing different from the other night.

"What's wrong, Darien?" I ask, worried. He turns and looks down at me sadly.

"I just realized something."

"Oh?" I prompt him, curious about what could make him so miserable.

Darien takes his top hat and mask off before he lays his back on the ground. He puts his head into his left hand and pulls me down to lay on his shoulder. He wraps his arm around my waist, before laying his hand on my stomach.

"I feel alone," Darien says quietly next to my ear. "I don't really have anyone I can count on, and I never have."

"But you have Andrew and me," I whine. Surely he knows that Andrew and I both care about him deeply? I mean, can't he see that I care after everything we've been through? Isn't it obvious between the hugs and kisses? After all the flirting?

"What I mean is, I've never had someone to love me."

Darien's eyes water, and for the first time since I've met him, I see real grief in his eyes. He wipes a small tear from his eyelashes.

"What about your parents? All parents love their children!" I counter. His parents must have adored him. He is such a wonderful young man, they'd be stupid not to!

Darien rolls over so he is facing me. He squeezes me against his chest, and brings his face down to mine. "Do you?"

"D-do I what?" I stutter. I'm not that stupid, I know what he is asking. I just can't give him the answer he wants.

"Buns," Darien pleads. "Do you love me?"

I stare at him. If I don't answer the way he wants, I could lose my chance with him. If I answer the way he wants and I end up not feeling that way later, then I lose him anyways.

"Buns?"

I feel frantic and lost all at the same time. I know what I should say to make him happy, but I just can't do it. I'm not ready yet. "I don't know."

"How is that?" Darien scoffs at me. He releases me from his hold. "You either do or don't!"

I cringe as what was turning out to be a beautiful evening became a foul one instead. I watch Darien as he walks away from me, clearly hurt and upset. I knew this would happen! I would have been better off not answering at all!

I stand up and chase after him, reaching for his hand. "Darien, wait!"

"Why? So you can keep leading me on?" Darien growls in frustration. He stops suddenly, raising his arm in front of me to stop me as well.

"Darien, you can't expect someone to fall in love after a couple of days! I barely know you," I shout, angry and flustered. I try to slap his arm away so I can see his face while we talk.

"Be quiet!" Darien hisses at me. He stands in front of me, looking across the grassy lawn next to the building.

"Darien, what are you doing?" I wail loudly in his ear, "You can't tell me what to do!"

"Serena, please, just shh!" Darien whispers. I reach my head over his shoulder to peak at what he's looking at. "I think I hear something."

"Darien," I whisper, clinging to his cape. "What is it?"

I see a pair of eyes staring at us from behind a group of trees. We can hear the rustle of grass, and the snap of a tree branch. Suddenly, a woman with bulging, oddly shaped shoulders and light blue skin speeds towards Darien and I.

"Serena, run!" Darien yells, pushing me away from him. I fall to the ground, scraping my thigh on the cement.

My eyes widen as the blue woman with her purple and black outfit lifts her right arm up, revealing an eyeball on her hand. Within seconds, a white laser shoots from the eye and blasts Darien. When the laser disappears, so has he.

I gasp, pulling myself up, searching frantically for a place to run. My eyes dart back to the youma, who is giggling uncontrollably. She throws a small picture at me. I reach for the paper, catching it, before running towards the glass doors. I push one of the doors open and find myself in a large hallway leading down to a circular ice skating rink. The walls around the rink are covered in mirrors.

Surprisingly, the building sounds empty. There is no one around. I look down at the photo in my hands. Darien, in his cape and tuxedo, has his eyes closed as he prepares to take the laser hit. He protected me even though we were arguing.

This was a trap for us all along.

I squeeze the picture in my hand, feeling it wrinkle, and I choke on air. Why couldn't I just say it?

I hear the glass doors shatter behind me, followed by the youma's shriek, "I will get you, Sailor Brat!"

My senses alerted, I glance all sides of the room for a place to run. There is nowhere to hide! Regardless, I begin running from the doors, trying to get away from the photo taking monster. The monster who had taken Darien, Dad, and Luna from me, leaving me as the only one left to fight her.

I pant, running down the stairs, trying to get away. I hear a blast behind me, and when I look back, the part of the floor where I had once been standing has scorch marks on it.

"Oh, come back, Sailor Moon!" She taunts at me, "Don't you want to know what happened to your other Sailor friends?"

I pause, and turn to face her. I lift my tiara, glaring at the woman floating above me in midair. "Where are they?"

"Where your little boyfriend is," The blue haired creature declares. She tosses two more photos on the floor in front of me. One is of Sailor Mars preparing her flame attack. The other picture has Sailor Mercury typing on the little blue device. Anger bubbles in my stomach. "You can keep these, I have the negatives!"

"Just shut up!"

I prepare to throw my tiara when the youma shoots another laser towards me. I jump away, dodging it, and throw my discus at her. "Moon Tiara Magic!"

The youma shoots her laser at me again, and I fall backwards onto the ice when trying to avoid it. My tiara misses her when she dodges my attack as well. I watch as the tiara ricochets off of the wall, until it hits the ceiling, then flies off to somewhere I couldn't see. I touch my forehead to see if it has returned, and it hasn't.

"Oh no," I whisper to myself. My crybaby trait is quickly returning. I try to get up and run on the ice, away from the upcoming attacks. I slip and fall, sliding all over the place. Every shot the youma shoots misses, and it's only because of sheer luck. I can barely stand up, let alone purposely avoid an attack!

"You are more annoying than those other scouts!" The youma bellows at me. She starts to randomly shoot at the ice where ever I could possibly land during my slip and slide dance. Soon, there are lasers deflecting off the ice, ricocheting onto mirrors, and across the room until they crash into walls. It was amazing I wasn't a lousy snapshot yet.

I turn around, planting my butt to the freezing ice, forcing myself back. My back is touching a mirror, and the youma is standing on the ice in front of me laughing. I close my eyes, I knew what was coming next. In defiance, I push myself to the side to dodge another attack. The laser hits the youma, and she screams. I peek my eyes open to see the damage.

Her skin has melted into a wax form. She is still there, she is still able to attack, she just looks liked she was lit like a candle. The photographer is angry with me as she looks down at her hands. She prepares another attack before she is interrupted by two more of her own laser beams.

As I slide further down the ice, I come into contact with something that makes a clatter sound against the mirror. I look down to find my tiara. I aim my tiara and shout my magic attack before throwing it in the air. After I shout, "Moon Tiara Magic" though, one of her stray laser beams finally manages to land a hit.

The attack didn't hurt necessarily. All of a sudden I felt trapped. The kind of trapped feeling where a friend thinks it's funny to lock you in a small, dark closet to see how you react. By friend, I of course mean that bully who pretends to be your friend so they could pick on you. Almost the entire tiny room I'm locked in is dark, but there is a wall that I am standing in front of that shows exactly what the eye on the youma's hand can see. The wall is like a one-sided mirror. I can see through the eye, and nothing else can see me.

I slam my body against the 'mirror' again and again until my side is sore. "No!" I sob as I fall to my knees, slamming my fists against the wall. I wasn't able to do it. I wasn't able to save everyone, and now this horrible woman could get Mom and Sammy too!

I shouldn't have had to do any of this. Teenage girls shouldn't have to fight monsters. This is the result. I look through the mirror, and slump further to the floor at the sight.

"I defeated all the sailor scouts!" The youma cackles in her scratchy voice. "Nephlite will reward me grandly for this!"

Who was Nephlite?

I wipe my tears away. The youma's hand is to her side, still open, and I can see through the mirror something the youma wasn't anticipating. My golden tiara, creating a glittering trail behind it, is still managing to make its way towards the woman trapping me. Within seconds the youma is sliced in half as she wails, "I had defeated you!"

Next thing I know, I am sitting on the ice, just as I had before. Sailor Mars and Sailor Mercury appear on the other side of the rink.

"Ignite!" Sailor Mars yells randomly, pointing her fingers at thin air. She looks confused when no flame appears, and there is no enemy to attack. Sailor Mercury stops typing at her computer, and when she looks up to see me, she beams at me.

"Sailor Moon!" Sailor Mercury cheers at me, sliding towards me on the ice with her boots. "You did it!"

"Meatball head fought a youma without any help?" Sailor Mars says, poking fun at me. She follows behind Mercury. Mars crashes into Mercury and they both land on the ice in front of me.

They both start to laugh, and soon I join them. That small twinge of guilt pings at that back of my head. As Mars and Mercury pull me into a hug, I look back towards the broken glass doors. Tuxedo Mask is staring at me, a grim expression on his face. His eyes are filled with hurt, probably because of my inability to return his feelings.

I stare back, tears creeping into my eyelids as regret fills my stomach. My heart aches as he leaps away from the building without a wave goodbye.
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Chance   15th April 2013, 1:52 pm

Chapter Eleven

There is a horrible feeling that you get when you lose someone you truly care about. At the bottom of your throat there is this tightness that tingles and makes you feel like you are going to be sick. Your eyes fill with tears, and there is a stabbing in your back exactly where your heart is. Butterflies start to fly around more than just your stomach, reaching up to your lungs and making you feel like you are going to suffocate from a lack of air.

That was how I felt when Darien left. I knew everything had changed. You can't take back your words. Once you say something like that, it is permanently imprinted in that person's mind. How can you fix a mistake like that when you were telling the truth?

I think back to the last time I saw Darien. He was staring at me from the skating rink's entryway with a grim expression on his face, before fleeing away without saying a single word. Things seemed so surreal after that. Before I knew it, Raye and Amy had practically dragged me to the Cherry Hill temple where Raye lived. With the youmas defeated, our identities would be compromised if we didn't leave the scene according to Amy. The last thing the sailor scouts needed was to be identified by the press when things slowly turned back to normal.

"So, where is Luna, Serena?" Amy asks me, holding a pillow up against her chest. She sits up against the wall of Raye's room, textbooks piled high beside her. Raye is sitting next to Amy, reading a Sailor V comic book. Everything seems peaceful as we all sit in our pajamas, enjoying a sleepover.

"I dunno." I answer, gazing at the single red rose laying in a glass vase full of water on Raye's desk. I miss him. It's only been a few hours and somehow, it feels like half my world is missing. I reach for my pearl earrings, taking them out of my ears, and look at the creamy white hearts in my hand.

Amy crawls over to my side, and plops herself next to me. "Where did you get these? They are pretty."

I give her a small smile before closing my hands, squeezing the studs into my skin until they leave little dots. I glance over to Raye, who is looking at me quizzically, finding my behavior strange and unusual.

"I'd rather not say," I answer, my heart throbbing with misery. Raye likes him too. She made that clear during the first youma fight against the Black Widow. Why should I say anything when I'd already lost him? There was no point in hurting her as well.

"We should find Luna tomorrow," Raye says, putting her comic book down. "I don't know about you two, but I need to get some sleep."

"Yeah, I'm sleepy too!" Amy agrees, curling up into her sleeping bag. "Glad you're back, Serena."

"Goodnight guys." I reply, tucking myself into Raye's extra blankets. How was it possible to feel so alone when there are other people in the room? How can I let one person affect me so much? I just don't understand.

Soon Raye and Amy are asleep, and I am stuck listening to their light snores. I wrap my blanket over my head, and finally let my feelings go. I cry silently over my loss of Darien. The tears pour from my eyes creating a pool of wet cloth on my pillow. This was my fault.

The next morning comes quickly. My sleep is interrupted by crows screeching at each other while flying around the shrine. I toss my pillow at the window and hide my head under the blankets. "More sleep." I mumble to no one in particular.

The bedroom has been abandoned by everyone but myself. I smell a whiff of pancakes and syrup. At first the smell makes my mouth water, but then I think of how Darien was going to make me pancakes that day before we ate fruit instead. My throat dries up, and I sulk under the blankets feeling like I could just drown in the cotton and fabric.

"Serena!" Raye calls as she slams the door into the wall with her side, carrying a plate with pancakes piled two feet high. "Here's your 'welcome back' breakfast!"

She plops the plate on the square table in the middle of her room. I glance up at the plate of pancakes to observe the pancakes dripping in syrup with strawberry chunks and blueberries on top. My heart sinks, and I hold back another round of tears.

"C'mon, Serena." Raye demands, dropping to the floor and trying to rip my blankets off me. "I made you your favorite breakfast and now you have to eat it!"

"I'm not hungry."

"Meatball head, not hungry?" Raye taunts. "Are you sick or something?"

"Where's Amy?" I ask, avoiding her question. Is being sad a sickness? It sure feels like it. All I can think about is how I want to see him. How I want to speak to him.

"Well, since the youma are defeated and most of the town got their energy back, the power's back on." Raye explains. "The people are repairing the city and well, Amy's mom called and asked her to volunteer at the hospital. Guess there's a lot of people there."

"Oh." I respond in a dull voice. Finally I get off the floor and dress into my t-shirt and jeans from yesterday. Raye frowns at me.

"Serena, are you okay? You're not acting like, well... you."

"Seems like everyone is asking me that." I shrug. I look at her, the girl who calls me names and yet can be so kind at the same time. This girl has Darien's number. "Raye, I need to call Darien."

"Why?" Raye asks defensively, her eyes filled with annoyance...and did I detect a hint of jealousy? "You hate him, remember?"

"No I don't." I argue. "Besides, we're having a scout meeting and I think he should be there."

Or rather, I want an excuse for him to come over. I want to talk to him and try to get him to understand that I do have feelings, but I'm not in love yet. If he just gave me more time, I honestly think I could fall for him. His expectations were unfair.

"Why would he need to be at a scout meeting?" Raye raises her voice at me, obviously thinking I am insane. I suppose having someone go to a scout meeting when no one else knows their alter ego, is a little crazy.

"Well, he's Tuxedo Mask. Kind of makes sense he'd be there, right?" I answer, grinning as her expression turns wide-eyed. Her cheeks turn red as she imagines Darien in his tuxedo. "Not so crazy now, huh?"

"I'm going to call him, and invite him over right now!" Raye squeals, reaching for the phone on her desk.

"Wait!" I whine, "It was my idea!"

I jump on top of her, trying to grab the phone before her. We both crash to the ground, Raye lying beneath me with the phone in her hand above her head. "Get off me, Meatball Brains!"

"First tell me his number, then I will get off you," I laugh. I steal the phone from her hand and prepare to dial.

Raye groans. "How can you be this heavy when you didn't even eat the pancakes I made you?"

I squish my butt into her back, making her yell his number. I pull myself off of her, the phone held up to my ear. The phone dials and then I hear the ringtone.

Ring...

He won't want to talk to me. I broke his heart. I suck in a breath of air.

Ring...

"Hello? This is Darien," He says, his tone dampened from the night before.

I can't speak. My voice is frozen. I cover the microphone part and turn to Raye. "I can't do it, you do it!"

I shove the phone back into her hands as Darien asks annoyed, "Is anyone there?"

"Sorry, Darien. Do you think you could come by the temple today, in like an hour?" Raye asks. I sit on the floor, pulling my knees into my arms. I lean my head at the top of my knees, and feel like I want to bang my head against the wall. I want to see him so badly, but I'm scared that he hates me.

"Darien, what's wrong? You're acting like Serena!" Raye says suddenly. By giving up the phone, I had given up the rights to hear his side of the conversation. What had he said? "Yeah, she's here. No, it was her idea. Mhm. "

What was he saying? I look at Raye with questioning eyes. She puts a finger up at me, signing for me to wait. I huff, and wait until she gets off the phone.

"I'll make sure she's here. Yeah, I'll see you later. Bye."

Finally the conversation is over, and I rise from the floor to be at the same height as my fellow scout. "So, what'd he say?"

"I don't see why you care, but he says he'll only come over if you are here. He should be here fairly soon."

Maybe there was a chance. I reach for my plate of pancakes and start devouring them. My appetite is back, and I feel a relief I hadn't felt since I saved Sammy.

I wonder how Sammy is doing? Surely mom had called the hospital by now, right?

In the middle of my thoughts, a black cat with a crescent moon strolls into Raye's room through the open door. She jumps up onto the table, and watches me eat with her red eyes. This is Luna. The cat I have dreamed about for the past week and a half.

"I see your appetite hasn't changed at all," Luna scolds me. "I'm surprised to be back considering how you act when you actually do have Raye and Amy's help."

Who the hell does this cat think she is? "Exchuse- frme?" I ask between mouthfuls of pancakes. I had barely eaten in the last few days, and drained my energy trying to save Sammy and the whole town. I think I'm entitled to sleep in and enjoy my pancakes!

Luna shakes her head at me, clearly frustrated with my lack of etiquette. "Serena, why didn't you go home after the last youma fight? Your brother was worried sick about you!"

I slam my fork onto the table. I wipe my face with my arm, letting the syrup stick to the hairs of my skin. "Why is it any of your business what I do or do not do?"

"I see you still don't have your memory back. Considering that, you've done pretty well on your own," Luna answers matter-of-factly. "It's time for us to restore your memories with the Luna Mindmeld."

"The Luna what-now?" I snap back at her. This cat was so frustrating. Luna was bossy, mean, and to be honest, kind of annoying. Is this what I always had to deal with? A narcissist who lectured me all the time and only gave me backhanded compliments when I did well? If so, this cat was going to have to live somewhere else.

"The Luna Mindmeld." Luna says calmly, closing her eyes and sitting in front of me, facing me. The crescent moon on her forehead shines brightly, and a golden beam of light hits my forehead.

My head begins to ache, and memories of meeting Luna, becoming Sailor Moon, and discovering the other Sailor Scouts resurface. As these memories come back, I notice things like how I began to spend less and less time with Molly. I feel queasy with guilt. Then a memory I clearly hadn't wanted to remember at all rips through my skull, stabbing at the bone like a hammer trying to bang a nail into a wall.

"If you just stopped eating and sleeping in class, maybe you would pass a test!" Miss Haruna yells, raising her ruler above my head and pointing it at me. She emphasizes her words by shaking her ruler at me, making me feel little and small. "You need to try harder. Why don't you work hard like Melvin and Amy?"

"I'm sorry, Miss Haruna. I promise to try harder," I say, squinting underneath her ruler, afraid that she might accidentally smack me with it.

"You better!"

I walk out of my classroom, sulking as I clutch yet another 30% test paper in my hand. Maybe I would actually do well if the teacher explained things better. I often felt lost and confused when trying to study my algebra, or even basic English. I struggled in history because the dates were just too hard to memorize.

On top of all that, I have to fight evil on a daily basis, searching for some reason about why the Negaverse steals energy. You'd think we'd have an easier time after destroying Jadeite, but that wasn't the case. Instead, a newer, stronger general took his place, attacking one person at a time, making it even harder to detect attacks.

Over time though, even he began to become easily detectable. With his red convertible, his long brown hair, and his pseudo name "Maxfield Stanton". The only problem is, we can't kill him, he always vanishes after releasing a youma. You never knew who he would target next.

I groan, nearly reaching the doorsteps to my home. If I go inside I have to show mom this horrible score...

I take a deep breath, and open the door to my house. As expected, Mom is standing on the other side of the door, a bright smile on her face, as she has her hand out, waiting to read my latest test score. Sometimes I wonder why she even pretends to think I did better than the last time. We all know what I ended up with.

I sigh, handing her the test, and bend my head down to stare at my shoes. We've done this too many times. The reaction is obvious.

"A thirty?" My mom says, her voice rising as her face turns red. She shoves me out the door yelling, "Don't bother coming home until you've studied enough to pass the makeup test!"

Mom slams the door behind me, and I, rather bored with this routine, slump to the porch steps and stare at my fingernails. What was the use of banging on the door, and crying until my mother let me in? She was right. I should study for the makeup test. I'm already so far behind though, that to be honest, I've already given up.

Luna's fur brushes against my bare legs, tickling my skin. I grab Luna, squeezing her in my arms, pressing my cheek against her fur.

"Alright, why was your mother upset?" Luna asks, nuzzling my cheek.

"I failed another test," I whisper, stroking her back with one hand, while rubbing her ear with the other.

"You know, if you spent more time focusing on being a Sailor Scout, and doing the important things in life, you wouldn't disappoint your mom and friends."

I feel my face flush at yet another one of Luna's insults, and shove her out of my lap. I stand up, patting my skirt, and grab my book bag. "Just be quiet!" I yell down at her.

Absent-mindedly, I run towards the arcade, feeling like I'm about to cry. No one seems to understand me. I feel like I don't really have anyone to talk to. I can't exactly just tell mom or Sammy or even Molly that I am Sailor Moon. So, in everyone else's eyes, I'm just a failure, and for no good reason.

Finally, I'm walking through the arcade doors. I breathe a sigh of relief, thankful to be in my favorite hang out spot. Here I can admire Andrew, the wonderful male waiter who makes my delicious chocolate malts. My secret crush, who when I see him, makes my heart turn into goo.

I take a seat at the arcade bar, right up front where I can see my favorite employee in the arcade, not realizing that a certain dark-haired jerk was just a couple of seats away to my left. "Oh, Andrew!" I sing, giggling to myself as I wait.

"Hey, Meatball head!" Darien the jerkzoid greets me, purposely trying to get on my nerves. I snap my head to the side, ignoring him.

Darien walks to where I am facing, and says, "Come on Meatball head, I've actually missed your annoying screeching voice whenever you talk to me."

"Hey, jerk, why don't you just leave me alone today?" I say, trying to dictate him to do what I want for once. All I want is for him to wipe his face off the earth and leave me alone! Was that really too much to ask for?

"Aww, c'mon Meatball head, I know you love fighting with me too," Darien says, lifting his hand to his chest, feigning hurt. I roll my eyes. Finally, Andrew walks to the bar from the kitchens, and I turn to him with a huge grin.

"Hi Andrew!" I say happily. I ignore Darien's defeated sigh as I ignore him, focusing all my attention on Andrew.

"Let me guess?" Andrew grins, pulling a coffee mug and a large sundae glass from the shelving under the bar. "A dark coffee and a chocolate malt for my favorite customers?"

"You know me so well, Andrew!" I smile, watching as Andrew works. Darien sits next to me, and grabs my wrist. He pulls my attention away from our friend once again.

"Hey, why don't I treat you today?" He asks, smiling at me in a way that seems genuine and not like the mean jerk I'm used to.

"What's the catch?" I ask, suspicious of his actions. "Are you going to spit in it before it reaches me?"

Darien's eyes dim at my words and his smile diminishes. "Just forget it. I wouldn't want to treat a brat like you to anything anyways."

"Then why did you offer?" I argue, raising my voice as I point my finger at him.

"Because I'm an idiot for thinking we could ever be civil." Darien whispers, dismissing me when Andrew hands him his coffee. I feel confused when Darien backs down from the argument he had started the moment I walked in.

All those thoughts disappear when Andrew places my chocolate malt in front of me. I admire him, staring into his eyes, before saying, "Thanks, Andrew!"

"No problem," Andrew replies. He glances at Darien, and Darien nods at him. "It's on the house."

"Wow! Thanks Andrew! I could just hug you right now!" I say gleefully, taking my spoon and digging into my sweet and free treat. Maybe today wasn't so bad after all.

I hear Darien smack his forehead, and look at him to see him shaking his head into his hand. What was his problem?

"So, how did you do on that test that you and Amy were talking about yesterday?" Andrew says, quickly diverting my attention.

At that moment, Raye and Amy walk through the arcade doors, the little bell jingling behind them. I turn their way, and smile, happy to avoid the question. "Hi Raye! Hi Amy!"

"Hi, Serena! How did you do on the test? I didn't do so well, I only got a 98%." Amy says, scolding herself under her breath. "I should have studied harder."

If a sweat drop could appear on my forehead, it would have at that comment. I twiddle my thumbs. "Well..."

"Oh, Serena!" Amy gasps. "You didn't study, did you?"

"Well, no, but..."

I think of the last youma we fought against in the park. The animals had become evil somehow and were terrorizing the citizens, aiding the negaverse. A youma made from plants had come out of Mister Baxter, Amy's good friend. Not to mention, I had been spying on the Jerkmeister Darien, who was on a date with Raye. For some reason that had made me angry. No idea why though, it's not like I'd ever date him. She could keep him, so long as they don't talk about my hair!

"Serena, if you want, I could help you study." Amy offers, trying to cheer me up.

I space out, staring at the ceiling. I didn't want to think about this stupid test. All I wanted to do was get my mind off of it. Then Raye has to open her big mouth and put her two cents in. "Yeah right! Serena, study? She's too busy stealing my comic books to actually be responsible!"

Raye laughs, and my body begins to shake in frustration. I squeeze my hands into fists. Not responsible huh? I do try, it just doesn't make sense and I give up! Not to mention the many attacks that I have to be there for. Raye and Amy were able to skip plenty of the fights, they weren't there from the beginning like I was! Without my tiara enemies cannot be defeated, and as a result, I've been sleep deprived for quite some time now.

"Well," I say, my voice shaky. "I promised Molly I'd meet her somewhere. So, I should go."

"What about your sundae?" Andrew asks, sympathy in his voice. I look at the pitiful sundae, half melted with chocolate sinking to the bottom.

I sniffle. "I don't want it."

Darien blurts out, "You know, 'Andrew' is paying for it. You should enjoy it. You know, so 'his' money doesn't go to waste."

"Why don't you go suck on a mothball Darien, and mind your own business!" I push the sundae towards him. "Or maybe you should eat it so it doesn't go to waste. You know, since you care so much about other people's money."

"Well maybe you should care more about other people!" Darien yells at me. "You're so selfish, Meatball head. You don't notice when other people care about you and love you. You never pay attention to anyone else, or how anyone else feels. It's all about you!And yet, you can't even care about yourself right. You flunk all your classes, and trip and fall over the place, bringing at least two other people down with you. You eat all the wrong foods, and you never try to succeed at anything. What a disappointment you must be to your poor mother and father."

"Shut up!" I scream at him. He doesn't even know me! He doesn't know how hard I try. He doesn't know how unselfish I really am, sacrificing my teen years to save a bunch of people who will never know it was me. How many times I have helped my family, and my friends, Molly and Melvin. He doesn't know about all the near death experiences.

"No, I won't! You don't know how lucky you truly are to have all these people to care about you. You take it all for granted. Your parents work so hard for you to have a successful future, and you don't appreciate it. In fact, you throw all their hard work down the toilet! You will never make it into high school, or be successful at anything!"

SMACK.

I slap him across his face so hard my hand stings. Tears are dripping down my cheeks, and rather than defend myself against the one man who would never understand, I simply whisper, "I hate you. I hate you so, so much."

I'm trying to run out of the arcade, pushing past Raye and Amy who are trying to stop me. I hear Amy say to Raye, "Let her go. Let her calm down."

Yet there are still footsteps behind me. I run faster, ignoring the rain outside, trying to get to the cross walk.

"Serena! Please, stop." I hear Darien call towards me. I don't want to hear what he has to say. He was so cruel. He didn't care how much he hurt me.

Finally, I reach the cross walk. I click on the button several times.

I stand at the cross walk, patiently waiting for the green human to appear on the digital sign. What is only seconds feels like hours. Tears are pouring from my cheeks. I'm crying yet again. I'm so useless. So worthless. There is nothing I can ever seem to do well. Maybe they were right. Maybe 'he' was right.

The light switches, and finally I am free to cross the street. Darien has nearly caught up to me, and I run out into the road as quickly as I can, desperate to get away from him.

Darien's voice sounds panicked as he shouts from the sidewalk, "Serena, watch out!"

I turn to see what he is yelling about, and a blue jeep is making its way towards me, at high-speed. The teenage boy blasting music in his car is happily talking on his phone, completely ignorant to his surroundings.

But it is too late. I've already been hit by the car. It took less than half a minute for the car going at double the speed limit to crash into me. My body crumbles to the ground and all I can feel is pain. The colors of vehicles and the road swirls around me as my knees hit the pavement. The young man continues driving on, and I feel sick.

Raindrops and dirt cover my body. I notice a slice on the left side of my torso. My school girl blouse seems to be splattered with blood. So much blood that I feel as if I am going to throw up just looking at it…I am losing too much blood.

"Serena! What happened to you?" I hear Raye and Amy cry from the arcade doors. I can see the fear in their eyes. Fear for me. But I don't feel frightened. In fact, I'm not scared at all.

I hear the honking of horns, and Darien running towards me.

I try to open my mouth to speak, but no words come out. Slowly my head becomes dizzy, and my body numbs. Almost instantly after the numbness begins my eyes retire into an involuntary sleep, and I am lost to the world around me.

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The Second Chance

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