"Pallas, please- please g- g- go get Elios," Queen Serenity of Elysian, formerly Princess Lady Serenity of Crystal Tokyo, gasped. The Asteroid Senshi had found the queen in the Royal Garden curled up on the ground, clutching her bulging stomach in agony. Pallas nodded and dashed off towards the palace.
"Majesty, what's wrong?" Juno asked again.
"I- I think th- the baby's coming, Juno." Juno, Ceres, and Vesta's eyes widened, and they quickly started to pick up Serenity and bring her towards the garden gates. Serenity pushed them away, the pain fading.
"Minna, there's not enough time to get inside."
"You mean . . .?" Serenity nodded.
"I'll have to have the baby here." Pallas came running up at that moment with Elios, King of Elysian, and the Royal doctor following her.
"Serenity! What happened?" Elios said, his voice filled with concern. Serenity smiled weakly.
"Nothing, Elios. Yet." Realization dawned on him.
"We have to get you into the palace! Vesta, Ceres, you-"
"Your Majesty, I'm afraid there's no time," the doctor interrupted. "If we were to try to take her inside now, she would have the child at the front gates of the garden. It would be better for her to stay here." Elios nodded his consent and took Serenity's hand. She squeezed his hand hard as another contraction wracked her body with unimaginable pain.
"P- please, Elios," she pleaded, her normally lilting voice hoarse and strained, "make it stop. It h- hurts t- too much." Tears started streaming down her cheeks, and she closed her eyes tightly, trying to shut out the pain. "Please, Elios . . ." Elios looked up at the doctor.
"Can you give her something for the pain?" The doctor shook his head.
"If I were to give her medication of some sort, it would affect the baby, and I would not be able to properly assess its condition, a necessity given the young age of her Highness."
"I understand." Elios looked back down at Serenity. The contraction had passed, and she lay on the ground, motionless except for the heaving of her chest as she tried to catch her breath. "Serenity?" He whispered. She didn't acknowledge him. "Hey, Serenity?" No answer again. "Serenity, wake up!" Serenity's eyes opened slightly.
"E- Elios?" Elios smiled.
"Hey, Serenity. Where were you?"
"I was remembering when Mama and Daddy found out that I was pregnant. Do you remember how they-" She stopped short and closed her eyes again, silently trying to work through the pain that was beginning again. Elios nodded.
"Yes, I remember," he said as the doctor got ready to deliver the baby. "I remember . . ."
"Elios, I'm . . . I'm pregnant," Princess Lady Serenity said. The large stuffed bunny she had pulled in front of her face muffled her voice, but he still understood what she had said.
"Pregnant? You?" Serenity nodded.
"Yeah. If my mom finds out . . . oh man, she'll kill me!"
"I don't think that your mother would be that drastic, Chibi," Elios said, sitting down on the bed beside her and putting his arm around her.
"You don't know Mama, Elios. She told me that I'm not allowed to even speak with any man unless it's Daddy until I'm eighteen!"
"Chibi, you know she's already taken that back. Or did you forget, Princess of Elysian?" Serenity looked up and smiled.
"Yeah, I guess you're right. But still, her and especially Daddy are going to freak!" Serenity leaned on Elios' shoulder. "I don't want to tell them, Elios."
"We don't have much of a choice, Chibi. If you don't tell them, you know that Hellion will." Serenity cringed at the mention of Elios' older brother, the King of Elysian.
"But how will he know? You wouldn't tell him and I definitely wouldn't tell him."
"I know, but he always finds out when I'm keeping something from him. So we're going to have to tell your parents before he gets a chance to." Serenity sighed.
"I guess so." She glanced at the clock on her wall. "Public audience should be over by now, so I might as well go down." Serenity stood up and took Elios' hand. "Come on, Elios. I'm going to need your support."
"Mama? Daddy? Can we talk to you?" Serenity said, opening the door to the throne room a crack.
"Sure, Small Lady." Neo-Queen Serenity said. Elios and Serenity walked in, hand in hand, worry reflected on both of their faces. "What's wrong?"
"Um . . ." Serenity glanced around at the many attendants in the room, "we need to talk to you in private." The Queen dismissed the servants.
"Now, what seems to be the problem?" Elios and Serenity walked up to the Royal Couple.
"Mama, Daddy, I'm . . ." Serenity trailed off, her voice no more than a whisper.
"You're what?" The King and Queen looked concerned. "Are you in some kind of trouble, Small Lady?" Serenity shook her head.
"No, Daddy. I'm not in any trouble."
"Then what's wrong?" Serenity took a deep breath.
"I'm . . . I'm pregnant," she said quietly, looking down at the floor.
"You're . . . pregnant? You? My Small Lady?" The Queen asked in disbelief. Serenity nodded.
"Yes, Mama." After a few moments of silence, Serenity looked up. Her parents' faces were an unreadable mixture of emotions. "Daddy? Mama?"
"Serenity," King Endymion said in a monotone voice, "you are not permitted to see Elios any longer." Serenity burst into tears
"No! Mama, Daddy, you can't do this to me!" She wailed. "I need him!" Elios wrapped his arms around Serenity, trying to comfort her.
"Queen Serenity, King Endymion, you know what it's like to be separated from the one person that matters to you most of all. Don't put your daughter through that."
"Serenity is only seventeen, Elios. She is too young to be having a child."
"Mama, Daddy, please," Serenity pleaded through her tears, "don't do this to me."
"Serenity, go up to your room. We will be up to speak to you later."
"Daddy, please listen to me!" Endymion ignored her plea and called for the guards from outside the throne room.
"Bring the Princess to her room. No one is to exit or enter unless it is the Queen or myself." The two guards took Serenity's arms and started to pull her towards the door.
"Elios!" She screamed. "Don't let them take me away!" Serenity reached for him, trying desperately to remove herself from the guards' strong grip. Elios ran after her, but the doors closed in his face, separating him from his love. Elios turned to the King and Queen, rage boiling inside of him.
"How could you, of all people, do this to her?" He said, trying desperately to control his anger. "And at a time like this? She needs me!"
"All Serenity needs, Elios," Endymion said calmly, summoning two more guards, "is to be kept away from you. Guards, please bring Prince Elios to the guestroom in the East Wing. As we do not want to start a war with Elysian, you will not be imprisoned in the dungeon, although you deserve to be. The law is very clear on the treatment of one who has taken advantage of the Princess."
"Taken advantage?! What?!" The guards grabbed Elios' arms and roughly pulled him out of the room. The room was silent for what seemed like an eternity.
"Endymion? Don't you think that was a little . . . harsh?" Neo-Queen Serenity said quietly. The king slumped forward, his head in his hands.
"I can't believe I just did that. I don't know what came over me." Serenity got off of her throne and kneeled in front of Endymion, looking into his eyes.
"It's all right, Mamo-chan," she said soothingly, using the nickname she had not spoken in almost a thousand years. "You just found out that our daughter, our Small Lady, is going to have a child. Most parents would have reacted similarly."
"But most parents wouldn't have locked away their daughter and her husband, Usako."
"That is only because they do not have the power or authority that we do. We must go and apologize to Serenity and Elios as soon as possible."
"Your Majesties, may I speak with you?" A blue-haired head poked itself into the room. Neo-Queen Serenity smiled and got up from the floor, dusting off her dress.
"Hi, Ami-chan- I mean, Hello, Sailor Mercury. What can we do for you?" She sat back down in her throne. "We'll go see Serenity and Elios once we're done here," Serenity whispered to Endymion.
"Your Majesties, I need to call to your attention the recent trends in the kingdom's economical status . . ."
"I can't believe this! How can they do this to me?" The young princess wailed despondently, flopping down on her bed. Hearing voices outside, she stopped wailing and crept to the door. Putting her ear against the crystal, Serenity could just barely make out the voices of two guards.
"Is this the East Wing?"
"What are you asking me for? I just started here. Damn palace; everything looks the same in here."
"Oh, well, it doesn't matter. Just as long as we lock this guy in a guest room, the King will be happy."
"Don't those guards know that this is the West Wing, not the East?" Serenity whispered to herself. She heard the door to the adjacent room open.
"In you go." There was the sound of footsteps as someone entered the room, then the door closed. Serenity could hear it lock. She waited a few moments until she couldn't hear the guards anymore, then went over to the wall that separated the two rooms.
"H- hello in there," she said quietly. The person did not answer, so she spoke louder. "Hello? Are you all right in there?" Through the frosted crystal, Serenity could see a figure walk towards the wall and press its face against it.
"Elios! Oh my gosh! Are you okay? Daddy didn't hurt you, did he?"
"No, I'm fine. What about you? Are you all right?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. Oh, Elios," Serenity said, slumping against the wall, "what are we going to do? Daddy'll probably keep us locked up forever!"
"I guess we're going to have to wait it out, Chibi." Serenity sighed. She thought for a few moments, and then an idea slammed into her mind.
"No; I am not going to just sit in here and let them keep us apart. Elios, we're going to escape."
"Escape? Chibi, you're locked in, too, remember?"
"Yeah, I know, but I know a way to get out of here." There was silence from the other side of the wall. "Elios?"
"Where would we run away to, Chibi? It won't be easy for you to hide. You don't exactly blend into your surroundings." Serenity smiled and tugged at a stray strand of pink hair.
"I know, I know. But I've got this all figured out, Elios. Just trust me, 'kay?" Elios sighed.
"All right. When do we do it?"
"Guards!" The two guards opened Serenity's door to see the young princess sitting on the floor, her white dress stained red. "P- please go g- get Mama and D- Daddy, please," she pleaded quietly, her face ashen. The guards looked at each other, horrified.
"I'll get the King and Queen, you go get the palace doctor," one said. The other nodded and both took off down the corridor. Serenity smiled and got up. She peeked out the door to make sure no one was coming, then went and unlocked Elios' door.
"Oh my god, Serenity! What happened?" he exclaimed when he saw her.
"Don't worry, Elios. It's only red watercolor paints and baby powder. Now, let's get going."
"Shouldn't you get changed?"
"Oh, yeah!" Serenity ran back into her room. There was a flash of pink light, and she re-emerged in her old blue and red school uniform, her transformation brooch from her days as a Sailor Senshi fastened to the middle of the bow. She now had blonde hair, like her mother, and her formerly ruby-red eyes were the same shade of blue as her father's.
"Chibi, you look . . . great," Elios said, amazed. Serenity smiled.
"Thanks, Elios. Now let's go; those guards will be back any minute now."
"I swear, your Majesties, I saw her with my very own eyes. Princess Lady Serenity was just sitting on her bedroom floor, covered in blood," the guard said to King Endymion and Neo-Queen Serenity as they rushed towards the Princess' room.
"Small Lady?" Queen Serenity said, approaching the room. "Are you- there's no one here! She's . . . gone!"
"Elios is gone, too," Endymion said, noticing the open door. "Those good-for-nothing guards . . . when I said East, I meant East!" Serenity walked into her daughter's vacant room slowly, looking around for any signs of the Princess. Looking down, she saw a piece of Princess Serenity's stationary, very distinctive with little white bunny heads against a pink background.
"Endymion!" The Queen called, picking up the note. Endymion came into the room. "Look . . ."
'Dear Mama and Daddy,
I'm sorry I had to do this to you, but you left me with no choice. Elios and I have run away to escape your punishment. Don't even try to find us; I have changed my appearance drastically, so no one will be able to recognize me. Again, I'm sorry, but there was no other way. Elios and I are meant to be together, and this is your fault for getting in the way of that. Goodbye.
Princess Lady Serenity
"Endymion . . . she's left us," Serenity said quietly, tears welling up in her eyes. Endymion turned to the guard.
"Leave us," he said, his voice emotionless. When the guard had left, Endymion pulled Serenity to him and held her close. "I'm so sorry, Usako. This is all my fault."
"Mamo-chan," Serenity said, sobbing, "it's not your fault. It's not . . . oh, my poor baby, out in the world with only Elios to depend on . . . she shouldn't be out there, not now, not ever . . .especially not now . . ."
"She must be found as soon as possible."
"It's not possible, Endymion! You read the letter; she's changed her appearance, so we'll never find her!" The Queen began sobbing harder.
"Serenity, think about it for a second. Who has Small Lady always said she wants to be just like?"
"M- me, but . . ."
"So, if she were to change her appearance, who would she make herself look like?" Serenity realized that her husband was right.
"Oh, Endymion, we have to go and find her!"
"We'll send out search parties just as soon as-"
"No; we have to go find her. You and I."
"We have to go ourselves. We're the ones who drove her away, we have to be the ones to go and get her." Endymion nodded.
"We'll have to do something about our appearances, though. The King and Queen of Crystal Tokyo can not just run around the city whenever they want to."
"Chibi! Slow down! Where are we going?" Elios called to the young Princess as they ran from the palace.
"Right now, it doesn't matter. We just have to get as far away from the palace as we can."
"Well, then, where are we going to go after we get as far away from the palace as we can?"
"I'll tell you in a minute, just keep running!" After a few more minutes of flat-out running, they began to get tired, and Serenity stopped running.
"N- now will you t- tell me just w- where we're going?" Elios panted, out of breath. Serenity nodded.
"We- we- we're going to s- stay at a little place I know of that w- won't tell anyone we're th- there."
"A halfway house. I heard about it from Sailor Venus once when she was talking to Mama."
"You and I? At a halfway house?" Serenity smiled.
"Think about it, Elios. Mama and Daddy know how sheltered I am. When they start looking for us, they'll start with the ritzy hotels. The thought of looking at a place where runaways and drug addicts live won't even cross their minds."
"I suppose you're right, Serenity. We'd better get going, just in case they've already started looking for us."
"Hello! Looking for a safe place to stay?" Serenity nodded, suddenly shy.
"My girlfriend's pregnant and her parents kicked her out. Could we stay here?" The woman nodded.
"Sure! Just wait here, and I'll see where we can set you up." She turned and walked down a dim hallway. Serenity and Elios looked around. The dingy old house, although it was very large and had many rooms, was a far cry from the majestic palaces they were used to.
"Hey, are you all right Chibi?" Serenity nodded silently, staring at the floor. "Are you sure? You look a little scared." Serenity was about to answer when the woman came back.
"You two are pretty lucky. We're usually overflowing with kids like yourselves, but as it turns out, there aren't many people seeking refuge lately, so you can basically stay wherever you want."
"Do you have anywhere where we could have some . . . privacy?" The woman smiled knowingly.
"I know just the place. Oh, and my name is Victoria, but you can just call me Vicki."
"This is Chibi Usa and I'm . . . Jacob."
"Nice to meet you, Chibi Usa and Jacob." Vicki led them up the staircase and down a hallway. "Here you go. Supper's at 6:00, so be downstairs by then, 'kay?" Elios nodded. Vicki left, and Elios opened the door. The room held a set of twin beds, a nightstand, and two dressers. A small lamp sat on the nightstand, and a single bare light bulb hung from the ceiling.
"Well, I guess this is home sweet home for now, isn't it Chibi?" Serenity shrugged and sat down on one of the beds. Elios sat beside her.
"What's wrong, Chibi?" Serenity shrugged. "Come on, I know there's something wrong. Why won't you tell me what it is?"
"I've never been outside of the palace this long without Mama and Daddy before. I'm just a little scared, that's all," she said quietly. Elios put his arm around her.
"Don't worry, Chibi. We've been through worse things before, haven't we? Remember that whole thing with Neherenia the Amazon Trio, and the Amazoness Quartet?" Serenity nodded.
"Yeah. But this time there aren't any Sailor Senshi to help. It's just you, me, and . . ." She looked down at her stomach, as if she could feel the life growing inside her.
"We'll be all right, Chibi," Elios said, hugging her tightly. "I promise."
"Any sign of them?" Endymion shook his head. "My poor Small Lady . . ." Queen Serenity's eyes misted over, but she quickly blinked back the tears. "We've checked all the hotels in the area. Oh, Small Lady, where are you?" She looked down, trying to hide her still-imminent tears, and again was amazed that her high school uniform still looked decent on her after so many years.
"Come on, Sere- I mean, Usako. The more time we waste, the harder it will be to find her." Serenity nodded.
"I think I know where we can look, Mamo-chan. Minako-chan once told me about this place . . ."
"Chibi, wake up, it's almost dinnertime," Elios said, gently shaking the sleeping girl's shoulder. Serenity groaned and opened her eyes slightly.
"Oh, Elios, I had the worst dream. I found out that I was pregnant, and when we told Mama and Daddy, they freaked, so we had to run away to . . ." Opening her eyes wider, Serenity realized that it hadn't been a dream, and a sudden sob escaped her lips. "I'm scared, Elios. I don't want to be here." Sitting down on the bed beside her, Elios pulled Serenity into his arms.
"I know, Chibi. But we didn't have much of a choice. I mean, if your Dad hadn't of flipped out on us, we wouldn't have had to run away." Serenity nodded, crying into his shoulder. After a few moments, she sat up and wiped her eyes. "You all right now?"
"Yeah, I guess. Let's go eat supper."
"Hi! I'm Vicki! Looking for somewhere to stay?" The blonde girl nodded. *Whoa, she looks just like that Chibi Usa girl, * Vicki thought to herself. "I'm guessing you two want to stay together?" The girl nodded again, the tall, dark haired man with her remaining silent. "Follow me." Vicki led them up the staircase. At the end of the hallway, a door opened. "Hey, guys! Coming down for supper?" Elios and Serenity walked out, took one look at the people with Vicki, then ran back into the room, slamming the door behind them.
"Elios, what are we going to do?" Serenity wailed desperately, leaning against the door.
"Hide and hope they don't come in?" Elios said. Serenity rolled her eyes. "Seriously, Chibi, I don't think there's anything we can do now. They'll come in here and drag us both back to the palace. Your dad'll lock me away, and probably force you to have an-"
"NO!" Serenity shrieked. "They can NOT make me do that!"
"Hey, are you two all right?" They heard Vicki's voice through the door.
"Um, yeah, we're all right. We're just, um, not hungry anymore," Elios said.
"Oh, okay, well, why don't you come out and meet . . . what were your names?" There was the sound of muffled voices. "Come out and meet Usagi and Mamoru." Elios looked at Serenity. She sighed, then nodded. Elios opened the door, and they walked out. Serenity hung her head in defeat.
"Hello," she said quietly.
"Small Lady, is that you?" 'Small Lady' nodded. The elder Serenity ran to her daughter and threw her arms around her. "I'm so glad you're safe! We were so worried about you!" She exclaimed.
"Small Lady?" Vicki asked, puzzled. The young princess nodded. "You mean you're-?"
"Princess Lady Serenity? Yeah, that's me. And this is Prince Elios of Elysian, and Usagi and Mamoru are really my Mother and Father, Neo-Queen Serenity and King Endymion." Vicki stepped back a few steps, obviously in shock.
"You- and you- and you-" She turned to young Serenity and glanced down at her stomach. "Are you really-?" She nodded.
"Please don't tell anyone, Vicki. I don't want anyone to know yet." Vicki nodded.
"I understand. My lips are sealed. Now, I'm guessing you four will be on your way?" Both the Queen and her daughter shook their heads. "No? Why not?"
"I'm starving!" They exclaimed in unison.
"Small Lady, can we talk to you?" Endymion asked when they arrived back at the palace. The little princess shot a worried glance at Elios, who grabbed her hand. "Don't worry, we just need to speak with you." Serenity nodded and let go of Elios' hand as she entered the throne room.
"You're going to yell at me, right?" She said. The Queen shook her head.
"We're so sorry for forcing you to do what you did," she said, tears in her eyes. "It's just so hard to come to terms with the fact that our little 'Small Lady' isn't small anymore."
"Mama, Daddy, you didn't have this problem when I got married."
"That was different," Endymion interjected. "You're still staying here most of the time, so we haven't had to give you up yet."
"Why would you have to give me up now?" The King and Queen looked at each other, obviously surprised. "What? Did I miss something?"
"You don't know? If you have a son, you'll have to move to Elysian permanently." Serenity was shocked for a moment, then smiled.
"Mama, Daddy, I'll be all right, even if I do end up moving to Elysian. I've got Elios to look out for me, remember?" They nodded. "And you know I'm going to come back to visit a lot, so you're not really going to be giving me up, just . . . lending me out."
"I suppose you're right, Sma- I mean, Serenity."
"One more push should do it, your Majesty," the doctor said. Serenity, now nineteen, nodded.
"Let me go! " A childish voice exclaimed. Out of the corner of her eye, Serenity could see Vesta trying to hold back a little boy with hair as white as new-fallen snow and dark blue eyes.
"Elios, tell Vesta to let him go," she whispered.
"Vesta, it's all right." Vesta nodded and let go of the boy, who raced over.
"Mommy! What's going on?" He exclaimed. Serenity smiled wanly.
"You're about to become a big brother, sweetie," she said quietly. Suddenly, she closed her eyes tightly and squeezed Elios' hands as hard as she could.
"Daddy! What's happening to Mommy?" The little boy said, a look of worry on his face.
"Jacob, stand back," Elios commanded. Jacob obliged and stepped back a few feet. He watched as Serenity pushed with all the strength she had left, her ever-present brooch glowing brightly. After a few moments, Jacob heard the sound of a baby crying.
"Where’s the crying coming from, Daddy?" He asked. Elios smiled, leaned forward and kissed Serenity on the forehead. The doctor picked up a pink, crying bundle and handed it to Serenity.
"The Princess, your Majesty," he said smiling. Serenity opened her eyes and took the baby.
"Jacob, come meet your baby sister," she said. Jacob walked over and cautiously looked inside the bundle.
"That's a baby? What's its name?"
"Usagi. Her name is Usagi," Serenity said, smiling up at Elios. "Jacob, how would you like to go and visit Grandma Serenity and Grandpa Endymion?"