Disclaimer: I do not own sailor moon
"Really Serena, we've been waiting for you for over an hour now. What did you do this time?" Amy sighed quietly, the disinterested look in her eyes telling Serena just how much of a lost cause she saw her as.
"Excuse me?! What did I do this time, why thank-you Amy and that's not at all presumptuous of you is it?"Serena bit back, angry at her betrayal.
"Don't get on Amy's case Serena. She didn't do anything wrong. Now apologise." Lita demanded, her arms crossed and eyes glaring down at her Princess.
Serena literally drew back from the tall amazon, she couldn't believe how unreasonable they were being.
"It's not just about you being late Serena." Amara spoke as she straightened up from leaning against the side of the temple.
"We've been talking," Michelle elaborated, "and I think we all feel that you need to start putting more effort into your duties. Showing up late to battles and not really acting at all like a leader should...well...we need to see some improvement Serena." The soldier of Neptune spoke the words in her unique silvery voice but nevertheless Serena felt as if a shard of ice had just been pushed straight into her heart.
Banishing the tears before they could even form Serena pushed back the hurt and just stared at her friend in stunned silence.
"Wha..." Her words failed her and she cleared her throat awkwardly silently begging the world to stop so that she could process this.
"What did you expect?!" Serena winced. Since she'd arrived and seen the flames of rage in Rei's violet eyes she'd been readying herself for her best friend's hurtful words. "Just because you are the Princess and future Queen of Earth does not mean we are going to constantly overlook your behaviour." She shouted.
That was uncalled for, Serena thought, her eyes hardening.
"What right do you have-any of you-to judge me? None! I am seventeen years old! A couple of detentions are, no matter what you might think Amy, not uncommon. And so what if I'm sometimes late for a battle! I get the job done don't I? I don't see any of you doing that!" Serena yelled completely furious with the way they all seemed to be ganging up and passing judgment on her actions.
"You might be right Serena." Everybody turned when they heard the quiet voice of the Princess of Venus speak. "But you are not normal," Mina's caramel eyes locked with Serena's blue ones and she felt a tear slide down her cheek. Mina's eyes were cold and damning, "You have people who depend upon you and a duty to uphold. Not the least of which is a daughter."
Serena felt her stomach churn at the mention of Rini's existence. No matter how many times she told herself that a mother is supposed to love her children more than anything in the world one look at Rini and Serena couldn't help the disgust and abhorrence that engulfed her at the child's existence.
Rini sat there between Amy and Amara wearing a small self satisfied smile as she watched Serena being verbally struck down. Serena felt her immense dislike for the girl sharpen and a small part of it transform into hatred. She clenched her fists, the pain of her fingernails cutting into her palms helping bottle her resentment and fury and hurt.
She couldn't believe that these people around her- her friends expected her to give birth to such a person. She couldn't do that, everything within her rebelled at the thought of bringing Rini into her world.
"Yeah Serena," Rini hissed in delight, exulting in a chance to hurt her, "how can you ever expect to become a proper queen when you can't do anything right." Serena kept her head bowed and Rini continued - none of the scouts tried to stop her. Of course not, Serena thought bitterly, they all adore her. "I have no idea why Darien who ever want to be with you but you need to stop being such a cry baby and klutz."
Serena said nothing. There was only one person who hadn't spoken yet; the eternal guardian of time. There were few people who Serena truly hated in the world. There were people she didn't like and people she couldn't stand but it just wasn't in her to hate somebody. At least she used to think so.
"Your Mother would be ashamed of you."
Serena's head snapped up and she stared at the powerful warrior in unconcealed hurt.
She didn't think that now.
Looking at the unforgiving eyes looking into hers Serena felt a shudder pass through her. None of those eyes held an ounce of warmth.
She could feel her heart breaking. She had done everything for these people. Everything. She had given of her herself until there was nothing else to give. She was always there for them whatever the reason. She had fought for them; died for them, lived for them...she had loved them.
When no one else would she had befriended Amy and given her something in her life besides books.
Before she came along Rei was just the freak that lived at the temple with her crows.
Lita would still be beating up people unless she hadn't come along and given her a reason to stop.
Mina would never have learnt the joy of acceptance. Everyone she knew would still see her as vain and arrogant.
Amara and Michelle would never had been able to have a normal life if she wasn't there telling them to take it easy once in a while.
Rini wouldn't be alive if she hadn't risked everything she had and was to save her.
Serena clenched her eyes shut against the unimaginable pain the Sailor Scout of Pluto caused her.
Trista would never have been able to leave her sworn duty at the gate of time if Serena, against her better judgment, hadn't allowed her to.
"What's going on here?" A dark and powerful voice which demanded respect and authority spoke quietly, a hint of danger and warning was evident in that tone but Serena was sure that the people opposite her, except perhaps one, wouldn't have heard the threat.
"Darien!" Rini exclaimed in happiness and threw herself into his arms.
Serena looked away from the scene in disgust. She couldn't imagine having to put up with this for the rest of her life. Serena knew she should feel guilt ridden and horrified that she felt such a way for her own daughter. But she didn't. She couldn't.
The thought occurred to her that Darien had just arrived to join in with the scouts and Serena almost collapsed at the pain the thought brought her. She loved Darien more than anything in the world. The girls didn't understand, they just thought that she and Darien loved each other like normal people. They hadn't an inkling or understanding of the power behind their feelings. That's why she had tried her hardest to seem as if Rini merely irritated her. Darien was always so patient with the little girl, always putting her first. Serena didn't want to face Darien's inevitable revulsion when he found out her real feelings.
But Darien surprised her. Instead of adopting the tolerant little smile that he normally did when the pink haired girl demanded his attention he simply unwrapped her arms from around his waist, stepped away from her and pulled Serena into his arms.
"What's going on?" He whispered in her ear.
Serena buried her face in his neck and just shook her head. She hadn't wanted to show the Scouts how much their words had hurt her but the feelings of protection and love she felt within Darien's arms was slowly crumbling the wall she had locked her emotions behind.
"I felt you pain through our bond Serena, tell me what happened." He was stroking her hair soothingly trying to coax her to lower the barrier she had flung up in her mind making it impossible for him to tell what she was feeling.
Despite the gentleness of his voice as he whispered reassurances and words of love to his Princess over the top of her head Darien's ocean blue orbs were glaring dangerously into the eyes of the women standing silently and merely observing him and Serena.
"Darien!" Rini whined pathetically. Darien merely ignored her and continued comforting Serena until he felt Rini viciously push Serena away from him.
"Stop clinging to him Meatball head! Could you be any more of a baby?! Running to Darien and crying about all your problems, he has better things to do than having to put up with your idiotic bumbling." With that she drove an elbow into Serena's soft middle and gave a cry of victory when Serena fell to the floor, winded.
"You're such a klutz Serena, can't you ever stay on your feet?" Rini sneered while she watched Serena wipe the mud off her cheek. None of the Scouts moved to help her.
Darien could feel his rage rising but it was when he felt Serena reinforce the barrier blocking their connection that he let that anger explode.
None to gently Darien grabbed Rini's wrist and threw her away from him uncaring of the pain he might cause. Gliding to Serena in one move he scooped her into his arms and pinned the scout's in their places with his gaze.
"I am only going to ask this once," his voice was a whisper but all heard the icy words, "What is going on?"
Lita could feel the blood drain from her face when those bottomless blue orbs locked on her before moving on. She could feel herself taking half a step back. Darien was angry.
Michelle had always gotten on very well with Darien. She hadn't really known him in the Silver Millennium as the others had but she knew what he was like. Tall, dark and handsome the Prince could have had anyone he wanted. She'd always wondered why he had picked such a plain and simple girl like Serena.
Mina knew Darien was intelligent. Not the way Amy was-book smart- Darien had the type of intelligence that put people on edge. He was always watching you, learning about you he knew what most people would do before they did. She could feel the sweat break out on her brow when he focused on her. He would get his answer, and God help them when he did.
Trista had to physically stop herself from gagging when Darien wrapped his arms around the Princess as if she was something special. Darien was special. She could feel the power emanating from him in waves from where she stood. She actually stopped breathing when he looked at her. He stared into her eyes longer than he had any of the others. He knew, she realised, those ocean blue orbs held knowledge and repulsion. She looked away and glared heatedly at the dirt ground. She couldn't understand how Darien could voluntarily want to be with such a person when she was...
"This isn't any of you business Darien." Amy's voice was calm and collected her arrogance saturating each word.
"Really?" He drew the word out slowly and Amy looked at him for the first time. The hair on the back of her neck rose. The brief flash of gold in his eyes reminded Amy of his status. He was the Prince of Earth and for all the small parts he played in their battles Amy was under no illusion of the massive power he wielded from the Golden Crystal.
"Perhaps then you would be so kind as to tell me why Serena has cut off our connection for the first time in a Millennia?" Amy looked away from his accusing eyes and menacing voice.
She'd never seen Darien like this. Surely this wasn't because Serena was upset! She thought in alarm, staring at her hands. Amy knew that Darien only put up with Serena because of destiny and Rini! He couldn't have fallen in love with her. Mercury shook her head at the absurd thought, she had always respected Darien and Serena wasn't the brightest person in the world, he couldn't love her she decided.
"There is no need to throw a fit Darien. We were just telling Serena that she needs to take her responsibilities more seriously. Look at the example she's setting for Rini! Surely you don't want your daughter to grow up to be another Serena?" Rei finished with a laugh.
She had miscalculated.
Fury raged in Darien and he clutched Serena tighter to him when she tried to break free.
"You couldn't be more wrong Rei. I would adore Rini if she were another Serena, unfortunately...that doesn't seem to be the case."
Serena frowned slightly in confusion. What did Darien mean?
"Darien!" Rini cried appalled, "You don't have to be nice to Meatball head just because she's crying again. She's nothing like my Mama! She needs to start acting more mature and like her age – she's embarrassing!" She shrieked while pointing a finger accusingly at Serena.
Darien felt Serena stiffen in his arms and slowly turn around to face their future daughter.
Gasps escaped the Scouts. Serena's eyes were flashing silver.
Darien would have been just as alarmed as they were if the barrier she had erected between them hadn't collapsed under the force of her emotions. Immediately, Darien sent his mind into hers and with the power of their bond accessed her memories.
"Shut. Up." Serena growled. Her voice was quiet, nearly a whisper, but the menace within it was obvious.
Rini gasped in furious outrage. Her pink hair swung around her as she looked at the woman around her for help and sympathy.
"What's the matter dear?" Serena stressed sarcastically, "If you keep your mouth open any longer flys are likely to fly in." Her words were said in a sweetly sick voice but Rini ignored the warning signs.
"How dare you!" she shrieked, absolutely livid.
"Darien! Darien! Did you hear what she said to me?!" Rini continued, staring at Darien expecting him to chastise the blonde.
Serena stepped purposely in front of her view of Darien.
"What's that you were saying earlier, sweetheart, about not running to Darien to solve your problems?" Serena persisted in her sweet tone slowly advancing on the girl.
"You have no right to talk to me like that! You're not important! I can't believe you're my Mother!" Rini spat, her small face contorting into ugly shapes.
Serena stopped her forwards progress and the anger in her seemed to disappear at Rini's words. The pink haired girl smirked triumphantly.
"And I can't believe that you're my daughter." Serena said in a whisper.
Serena caught Darien's eyes for a second before she looked away. She couldn't pretend anymore even if that meant the one person she loved more than anything in the universe would hate her. She couldn't lie to him. So she let go of her feelings for Rini, she let him feel all her disgust, hatred and resentment. She bombarded him with memories of Rini and her thoughts and finally she let him feel her want to not to bring this girl into their world.
"What?!" Rini shrieked, infuriated, "You're lucky you have me. I'm the only good thing you've ever done." Her pink head bobbed as she nodded decisively as if that closed the subject.
Serena locked eyes with the red orbs of her future daughter.
"I disagree." She whispered.
"Take that back Serena! That's an awful thing to say!" Lita exclaimed angrily.
"No." She said simply.
"Rini did nothing to deserve your words Serena, you know we're right." Michelle's self confident tone made Serena clench her teeth together in anger. Michelle expected her to do what she said, no doubt was in her mind.
"You're wrong." Serena had to work to keep her voice steady, as it was her words sounded strained.
"You have a duty. Your incompetence and immaturity has gone far enough. You are being ridiculous. Retract your words now." Pluto's voice demanded obedience and Rini smirked sure Serena was going to beg her forgiveness which she would then refuse to give.
Darien was doing everything in his power to keep from interfering. This was Serena's fight and he knew that she wanted to do this on her own. He couldn't say that knowing what Serena really thought of Rini wasn't a shock. She had hid her emotions very well and he felt a touch of pride at the amount of control she must have to be able to do that. Hearing the words Rini spoke shocked him. Just as Serena had kept thoughts of Rini from him so had he from her. In reality he had tolerated the girl, seeing her existence as evitable. He never could warm to her, let alone love her like a father should love his daughter. He couldn't see anything of Serena's or his personality in the child and it bothered him immensely. He loved Serena more than life itself and watching as a person he didn't even like, hurt her and unable to do anything about it...but Trista was another story. That woman went out of her way to bring pain to Serena and he loathed her for it.
"Pluto!" Darien shouted.
The time guardian inclined her head to the Prince and waited for his words.
"You also have a duty. A duty to your princess and future Queen and that duty is to support and protect her. Your loyalty is not to Rini it is to Serena. You are the one being ridiculous here Trista. You are the one overstepping your bounds of authority."
Trista could only gape at her future king as her reprimanded her.
"Darien you can't be serious!" Michelle exclaimed shocked.
All he did was glare at her silently until she bowed her head respectfully.
"But Daddy! Didn't you hear her?" Rini cried.
A wave of apathy hit Darien as he looked at the girl and in that moment he knew Serena was right. They couldn't have this child neither of them loved.
Pluto turned at the call of her princess and tried not to sneer at this woman she hated above all others. She had taken from her the man she loved and she would never forgive her for it.
One thousand years ago when Queen Selenity still ruled over the moon Trista had been appointed to her station. All had been explained to her. She was to forever watch over time, she would have no company or conversation. She would not age but watch as her family grew old and died and forgot her. She would have no family, no friends, no love, and no children. Just as all those in the Silver millennium she was never to have contact with Earth but she was curious and thought herself above the law.
Going to the time bowl she had asked to see the royal family of Earth, she had heard that the family controlled a crystal as powerful as the Silver Imperium Crystal and she had wanted to know the type of people who held such power. She had watched in disappointment as the King and Queen of Terra met with the subjects and settled disputes in a very ordinary pattern. She had decided she had seen enough when a young man walked into the grand room. Her heart had stopped. She had never seen a man so handsome.
Coal black hair which shone blue in the sun framed a classic face and strong chin. Tan skin glowed with health and vitality, broad shoulders and narrow hips made a body the likes she had never seen. But it was his eyes which captivated her in that first moment and had yet to let her go. Ocean blue eyes which seemed to go on forever gleamed with intelligence and power.
She had watched in jealousy as a Lady of the court had wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him into a kiss. She burned with envy as he took that same Lady to his bed and it was only his rejection of her the next morning that eased her want to kill. She watched him obsessively, saw how he had a different woman every night, her only consolation was they never meant anything to him.
She dreamt of their meeting. He would be talking to someone and the instant she entered the room he would know. He would look up and see her and fall in love. He would exclaim that he couldn't live without her that he didn't know how he had before. But her fantasies all came crashing down with the treaty between the Earth and the Moon.
The Princess was sixteen the Prince twenty one when they had met but he hadn't been able to look away from her. She had watched in dismay as his attraction didn't end as usual but only grew. She had watched as he began to refuse the Ladies in court unable to look away from Serenity. Alarm had seized her when they kissed for the first time in the middle of a dance and he proclaimed to his Mother the next day that he loved her. Still, she had thought it would pass.
She could remember the first time she left her post; Queen Selenity had invited her to a party on the Moon where an important announcement would be made. She had been filled with excitement and nerves knowing Darien would be there. She had spent hours getting ready, certain he would take one look at her and fall madly in love. She had been standing on the left of the Queen, a place of honour, the princess on her Mother's right. She could still remember the butterflies which erupted in her belly when the announcer had called Prince Darien of Terra. Her gaze was hungry as he entered the room and she had to remind herself to breath.
He had walked with power and confidence up to Queen and Pluto had waited anxiously for their introduction.
"Prince Darien. I would like you to meet an honoured guest, the Princess of Pluto and the Guardian of the Time Gate." As Queen Selenity spoke she gestured to the dark green haired beautiful woman beside her.
Prince Darien glanced at the figure for a moment before bowing. His eyes however were trained on the Princess of the Moon; Serenity, he didn't look at the Princess of Pluto again. Not once. His eyes unless forced by conversation didn't leave the golden haired, blue eyed woman.
Trista could still feel the way her heart had broken in her chest. She was nothing to him, that was obvious and when the Queen announced their engagement and the Princess blushed prettily and Darien kissed her mouth with joy – she left.
And she had watched it happen all over again.
Serena tried desperately to keep it together. All her friends had betrayed her, her daughter hated her and she had realised that she didn't want that life: she didn't want to be a figurehead monarch with protocol and duty and subjects. She wanted to live a long and happy life with Darien free of violence with children she loved.
Looking at the bitter obsessed woman that stood before her she knew she wouldn't let her have that. Not wanting any secrets between them, she passed her thoughts on to Darien and felt his immediate agreement. A small smile tugged at her lips as he sent a wave of his love to her along with the thought of her happiness.
Closing her eyes she took a deep breath and opened her mouth to begin. Startled, she looked down at her hand and saw a larger tan one gripping hers. They shared a small private smile and Serena knew she would happy. As long as she had this man in her life her happiness was evitable.
"Both Darien and I have decided that crystal Tokyo will not exist," she raised her voice to be heard over the protests and yelling, "There will be no sailor scouts or I'm afraid no Rini." Serena felt Darien squeeze her hand.
"What do you mean? Of course I'm going to exist!" Rini screamed.
Serena looked into her eyes.
"Rini, for you to exist I would have to get pregnant in five months," Serena ignored the gasps and went on, "that would be impossible."
"Why?! Don't you know you're killing her!" Amy shouted.
Darien glared at her and all protests ceased. Serena smiled at him in thanks before taking a deep breath and continuing.
"I Princess Serenity of the Moon Kingdom," Serena began her voice solemn and low.
"And I Prince Darien of Terra," Darien's powerful tone matched hers.
"Do hereby revoke you planetary powers," Serena looked up and into the pained eyes of her former friends, "Forever."
"What have you done?" Amara whispered in a horrified voice as she felt her strength leaving her body.
"Nothing we weren't entitled to do." Darien said.
"But what about Rini?" Mina glared sparks of anger shooting from her eyes.
"There is no way for Rini to exist. That's why I was late. I was at the doctors...I'm pregnant." Serena smiled tearfully as she finished and Darien could only stare at her in shock.
"Surprise." Serena choked on the word through her tears as she looked at Darien but all he did was slam his mouth against hers.
"But..." Rini protested desperately, "It's me! You're pregnant with me!"
Serena shook her head from side to side for the first time feeling pity for the girl.
"No Rini. It's a boy." Serena smiled unable to contain her joy.
"A boy." Darien repeated grinning in complete and utter euphoria. Serena smiled and nodded. He crushed their bodies together and told her again and again how much he loved her while Rini disappeared unnoticed.
And Trista felt her heart shatter.
It had happened Again.