by Princess Nat

Disclaimers: Sailor Moon belongs to Naoko Takeuchi, much to my regret. ;-)

Serena smiled up at Darian. His white tuxedo accentuated his dark hair and eyes even more than usual. The smell of his trademark roses wafted up from her bouquet and she breathed in deeply. Finally, her dream was becoming reality--she was marrying her one true love, Darien Shields. As they walked together down the aisle, a menacing voice boomed, "You must not marry Princess Serenity! If you are together she will be destroyed!" The sky turned dark and the ground suddenly lurched up and Serena was torn away from Darien, screaming...

"Darien!" Serena screamed as she sat up in bed. Her chest was heaving as the sobs slowly subsided and she looked about her room wildly. "Could Darien be having this dream? Is this why he doesn't want to see me anymore?" she wondered aloud. She picked up the picture of the two of them that was always on her nightstand and the glass split right between them. "No! I won't accept it!" Serena threw the picture on the bed and struggled into her clothes. Running out the door, she didn't even notice that she had awakened Luna and Rini.

"Darien! Darien! I have to talk to you!" Serena shouted as she pounded on the door to Darien's apartment. "Darien! Let me in."

"Go away, Serena. How many times do I have to tell you that I don't want to see you anymore?" Darien's exasperated voice came through the door.

"Is it because of the dream? Do you believe the man who says we can't be together?" "How did you know about the...?" Darien unlocked the door and opened it up to look at her. Serena took the open door as an invitation and pushed her way into the apartment. "Tonight, I had a dream that we were at our wedding and then a voice said that we could not be together or I would be destroyed. And then you were taken away from me. Is this why you've been avoiding me? You can't believe a dream." Serena looked at Darien, tears brimming as she waited for his response. "I didn't think so at first, either, but I've had it so many times that I can't help believe it. We can't see each other anymore, Serena. I mean it." Darien begins pushing her toward the door. "I don't care what the dream says. Don't you understand. Even if I'm destroyed, I still want to be with you. I want to be with you more than anything else in the world." Serena fights him, but is still relentlessly pushed out the door. "Good-bye, Serena. Stay away from me." He shuts the door firmly in her face. Serena immediately begins pounding on the door, sobbing. "Darien! Please, I need you. Darien..." Serena collapses sobbing on the floor, while Darien leans against the door, closing his eyes.

"I'm sorry Serena." he whispers.

Luna and Rini look up at the apartment building. "What do you think she's doing here at this time of night?" Rini asks.

"I don't know, but it probably has something to do with that nightmare she was having. She hasn't been handling their separation very well." Luna answered worriedly.

"Well, well, if it isn't the little rabbit all by herself with no one to protect her but a little kitty." Emerald cackles evilly. "Prince Diamond will be so pleased when I bring you to him." She tosses a gem onto the sidewalk and a droid materializes. "Get her!"

Luna sends out a distress call to the scouts as Rini starts backing away from the droid. Rini turns and runs toward the pier with the droid chasing after her. Sailor Moon appears and blocks the droid's path. "I'm really in a bad mood, so let's just skip to the end. I punish you!" Sailor Moon throws her tiara and dusts the droid. Emerald reaches into her pocket and withdraws a handful of larger gems that she throws toward Sailor Moon. As they land, each becomes a droid.

"You look tired, Sailor Moon, perhaps a nice nap will do you some good." Emerald cackles some more as Sailor Moon tries to fight off the numerous droids. One of them manages to tag her with a bolt and she feels her eyelids drooping.

"Sailor Moon! Don't fall asleep!" Luna yells, but it's too late. Too many nights of broken slumber have taken their toll and Sailor Moon slumps to the ground, whispering "Darien..."

"Now she'll give Prince Diamond all of her energy as she tries to reach her heart's desire until she dies. Such a pity." Emerald sneers as she advances toward Sailor Moon.

"Mars Fire Ignite!" "Jupiter Thunder Crash!" the rest of the scouts appear and begin to take out the droids.

"I may not get the Rabbit this time, but at least I'll take care of you, Sailor Moon!" Emerald nudges Sailor Moon over the edge of the pier and then disappears.

"Sailor Moon!" Mercury shouts, but she's immediately drawn back into battle with a droid. Rini runs to the edge of the pier, but the current is strong and she can only catch a glimpse as Sailor Moon is pulled down the coast. There's a bright flash of white light, and then she loses sight of her. "Sailor Moon!" Rini yells, but there's no answer. The scouts finish off the droids and look towards the water.

"Mercury, use your computer to try to find her while I get help!" Luna yells over her shoulder as she lopes toward Darien's apartment building. "We'll be there as soon as we can!"

Darien was having the dream again. The voice boomed "You must stay away from Princess Serenity! If you are with her she will be destroyed!" This time, however, a brilliant white light flashed and the dream dissipated. In its place, Queen Serenity stood. "Endymion, you must not believe this dream. It was sent with good intentions, but the sender does not understand the truth. Serenity gets her power and strength from her love for you. When you push her away, she becomes vulnerable. She needs you. Go to her." The light fades and Darien realizes that something is patting his face and yelling at him.

"Darien! You have to come. You're the only who can save her. Wake up!" Luna was standing on his chest batting at his nose. "Serena's in trouble!"

"Luna? Serena's in danger?" Darien sat up quickly and reached for his clothes.

Sailor Moon was back in the cave with Queen Beryl. Tuxedo Mask had just been struck with a jagged rock and was dying. "No, Tuxedo Mask, don't leave me!" she cried as she tried pouring all of her power into him, but he faded away.

"You can never save him, can you Princess?" Queen Beryl goaded her. Serena looked around and discovered that she was back on the Moon and Prince Endymion was being killed right in front of her. "No!" she screamed, as she once again poured all of her power into him. He faded away as she sobbed.

Darien and Luna were on Darien's motorbike when Luna's communicator went off. "Luna? We found her. We're at Fisherman's Wharf." Venus glanced away and then back. "I think you'd better hurry."

"We're on our way!" Luna clung to the seat as Darien transformed into Tuxedo Mask.

"Hang on Serena, I'm coming." Darien whispered under his breath. "Please don't let me be too late."

Rini's eyes were wide with fear and shock as she gazed at the softly glowing crystal-encased body on the sand. Sailor Moon had become Princess Serenity and she was totally encased in crystal, just as Neo-Queen Serenity was. "Mama?" Rini whispered. "She's just like Mama!" Rini cried and a bright burst of power came from her.

"She'll be OK, Rini. You'll see. Come over here and watch Mercury analyze the crystal." Sailor Venus hugged Rini and steered her toward Mercury.

"It's Silver Imperium Crystal all right, but I don't know how or why. Maybe it was triggered when she went under water. I think she's getting weaker, though, the glow is dimmer than it was when we first found her." Mercury bit her lip thoughtfully. "I'm not sure how we're going to get to her. Silver Imperium Crystal is unbreakable."

Tuxedo Mask and Luna drove up. Tuxedo Mask jumped off the bike and ran toward Princess Serenity. He placed his hands against the crystal. "Serena, Princess Serenity, let me in. I'm sorry I left you. Please let me in."

Serenity felt something warm. She looked around, but everything was dark. Then she heard him. "Endymion? It can't be. I failed him and he's dead...but, I feel his warmth..."

The crystal began to recede, and soon Tuxedo Mask was holding Princess Serenity in his arms. He bent down and placed a soft kiss against her lips. Serenity sighed and her eyes began to flutter. "Endymion?"

Rini screamed. Droids were surrounding them! "That power burst a little while ago must have drawn them!" Venus yelled. The scouts began to fight, but there were too many droids. A stray bolt flashed by Tuxedo Mask's shoulder and Serenity climbed to her feet. "I couldn't save you before, but this time I will!" Her eyes glowed with determination as she braced her herself and held the Moon Wand before her. "Cosmic Moon Power!" she shouted and a blazing sphere of white light erupted from the wand. When it faded, all the droids were dust and Sailor Moon collapsed into Tuxedo Mask's arms.

"Serena!" Darien called to her, but she was unresponsive. "She's so cold. I'm taking her back to my place, you guys can meet me there." Darien took off his cape and wrapped it around Sailor Moon before getting on the motorbike and speeding off.

"Rini, why don't you stay with Mina tonight?" Luna suggested.

Rini scowled and stuck out her chin. "No! I want to stay with Darien!" The scouts all began to argue that they should stay to make sure that Sailor Moon was all right and who was going to explain to her parents if she wasn't, etc. when Darien walked into the living room.

"OK, everyone just settle down. Rini, you and Luna can stay on the couch. The rest of you should go home and get some rest. Mina, can you stop by and take Rini to school in the morning?"

The scouts had fallen silent when he began speaking and Mina immediately nodded assent. "How is she?" She asked quietly.

"She's still unconcious. I'm trying to warm her up. I'm worried about hyperthermia and shock. She's been through a lot tonight." Darien looked at the floor, adding to himself "I've put her through a lot these past few weeks..."

Raye reached for his hand. "Don't worry Darien, she'll be fine. Come on guys, lets give them some peace and quiet." The sailor scouts filed out of the apartment, saying good-bye as they left. Once the door was closed, Darien brought out a blanket and pillow for Rini and tucked her into the nest he'd made her on the bed.

"She will wake up, won't she Darien?" Rini looked at him worriedly.

"Don't worry. Sailor Moon is invincible." He gave her a quick squeeze and then turned off the light. Luna curled up at her feet.

As he walked into the bedroom, Darien noticed that Serena was restless. She cried out softly in her sleep. "Darien!" He went to her and drew her close, wrapping his arms around her body.

Serena felt a calming warmth around her and felt content for the first time in weeks. Her eyes opened slowly and she saw Darien looking down at her with troubled eyes. "Darien?" Her voice was soft, questioning, as if she were afraid he might disappear if she spoke to loudly.

Darien hugged her tightly as he spoke: "I'm so sorry Serena. I was trying to save you and just put you in more danger. When I saw you tonight, so pale and still, I was sure I was too late."

"Darien, we are always stronger when we are together. Please don't send me away anymore, I couldn't bear it." Tears rolled down her eyes as she clutched him to her. "Please, Darien, I need you."

"Shh. It's okay Serena. I'm not sending you away again. I love you and I want to be with you. You're right, we are more powerful when we are together." He bent his head down and kissed her. After that, he just held her as she drifted off into the first restful sleep she had had in weeks.

Darien knew he should get up and sleep on the floor, but it just felt so right to be there, holding Serena in his arms, that he couldn't summon the will to move. Instead, he too, drifted off into a restful slumber. A soft, warm glow began to emanate from the sleeping pair.

Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion were facing each other in the palace of the Moon Kingdom. They clasped hands and looked into each other's eyes. Queen Serenity appeared and they both turned to look at her, still holding hands.

"You must trust in your love for each other. Only with love will you survive. Remember this in the days to come," she told them before fading away.


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