Disclaimer
I don't own Sailor Moon. This is not my story. It belongs to Jendra. I'm just re-posting it with permission from the original author, Jendra.

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A New Beginning

Chapter One: A New Player

"Waah!! I am going to be so late! Why didn't anyone wake me up?"

It was another normal day in the Tsukino household. Less than five minutes after the yell that was heard two blocks away, a young girl came running out the front door. She was about fourteen years old, a fairly pretty girl with big blue eyes and blonde hair that fell down in two ponytails from balls on top of her head.

She tore down the sidewalk, passing slower walking pedestrians with muttered apologies. She turned the corner without losing speed.

WHAM! She picked herself up apologizing and was about to continue when she noticed who she had bumped into.

"Darien! I'm sorry! I wasn't looking where I was going. I suppose you're going to turn around and walk away now, aren't you?" She sighed.

"Actually Serena, I did want to talk to you." Darien replied. He was a young man about twenty years old, with black hair and blue eyes that looked quietly down at the girl in front of him.

"Y..you did? W..hat about?" Oh, please let him say that he wants me back.
Please..please! Serena looked up with hope shining clearly in her eyes.

Darien knew what she thought and hated to hurt her even more, but he had no
choice. He looked away from her hopeful eyes, not wanting to see the shine
leave them when she heard what he was going to say. "With the Four Sisters
healed, Rubeus hasn't tried anything for awhile, so I am going to take a vacation. I have already gotten permission from work to take as long as I want and I am leaving in a couple hours." Without meaning to he looked into her eyes again as he said the last few words. Her eyes were still shining but now they were shining with tears instead of hope.

"H..how" she gulped, trying to hold back tears, "how long will you be gone?"

"I have a month's vacation saved up, I might take all of it."

"Why?" and now her voice was almost quiet "Why are you leaving? Is it because of me?"

"I just have to get away from everything for a while. It doesn't have anything to do with you." he lied with a straight face. In truth, it had everything to do with her and the dreams of her death in the future, but as always he couldn't tell her that. It was his decision and he needed the time to be sure he was making the right one.

Serena struggled to hold in the tears that were threatening to burst forth.

She had already learned that crying wouldn't make him change his mind. Still, she couldn't stop two tears from trickling down her face. She brushed them off quickly and tried to find another way to convince him to stay. "What about Reenie? Are you just going to leave her? What if Rubeus tries to get hold of her again?"

Darien was no longer looking at her. His eyes had darkened in pain when he saw the tears, and he did not want her to see what the thought of leaving was doing to him. "The Sailor Scouts can take care of her until I get back," he announced. "Besides, it would do you good to fight on your own for awhile. Look, I didn't tell you to debate about it. I am going and it's final. I don't know when I will be back and I don't even know where I am going. Just tell the others, especially Reenie, good-bye. I'll see you when I get back." Darien turned around and left without another word. Much longer and he would be crying as well. In fact, a lone tear fell from his eye as he thought of the girl he was leaving behind.

Serena stood staring after him for a long moment. This time she didn't try to stop the tears that were falling from her eyes. Oh Darien, why won't you tell me what I did that was so wrong? Why do you feel the need to get away from me so badly you're leaving town?

Serena started running towards school again. The tears in her eyes made her bump into more people than usual, but this time she didn't even notice.



Serena managed to get to school only five minutes late. She ran into the classroom with her eyes still clouded with tears. She didn't notice the cleaning supplies a janitor had left in the corner of the room. Her foot landed on a brush and she lost her balance. The rest of the class, very used to Serena's klutz attacks, braced themselves for the crash.

It didn't come.

Startled, everyone looked toward the back of the class. Serena was still standing, clutching the arms of the new boy who had entered just before her. He was as tall as Lita, with golden blond hair that almost touched his shoulders. Even in the boys' uniform, he looked well muscled and almost classicaly handsome. All the girls in class were sighing in envy that Serena got to be so close to him.

"Thank you" Serena said quietly looking up into eyes as blue as her own.

"You're welcome" the boy answered as he helped her sit down. "You should be more careful."

"Travis is right, Serena" Miss Haruna said from the front of the classroom. "You 'should' be more careful. You should also be earlier. You are tardy, 'again'! However, I'll let it pass this time because I haven't taken attendence yet."

Serena's (and most of the class') mouth dropped open. Miss Haruna wasn't going to give her detention?! Was there something wrong?

Molly leaned over and whispered "She's got a date tonight." That explained it.

"Now" Miss Haruna announced, "We have a new student today. Travis will you come up and tell us a little about yourself?"

Travis walked to the front of the class. "My name is Travis Watson. I am fourteen years old and just moved here from Virginia. I was born here but we moved away when I was two. I am very glad to be here and look forward to making new friends and getting good grades."

"Thank you Travis. I hope you do, as well. Now it is our habit to give new students a guide to show them around the school and explain how things work. Who would like to be Travis's guide?" At Miss Haruna's question, every girl, except one, and half the boys raised their hands. "Travis why don't you pick your guide?"

"Okay, Miss Haruna." Travis looked around at all the eager faces and focused on the one girl who did not have her hand raised. Serena sat quietly, not paying attention. It was obvious by the look on her face that her mind was a million miles away.

"Hi!" Travis said to her. Serena jumped as she was abruptly brought back to earth. "Serena, isn't it? Why don't you show me around?"

"I wouldn't be very good company today," Serena said, "you should pick someone else."

Molly and the other girls gasped in disbelief. Molly whispered over, "Are you crazy? The guy's a hunk!"

Serena and Travis ignored what was going on around them. They stared at each other for a long moment when Travis suddenly grinned. "What, my lady?" he asked, bowing low. "After saving you from the terrible brush monster, I get in reward not even a moment of your time? My heart grieves that one so fair could have so little of gratitude." As he placed his hand over his heart, he recieved the applause he was looking for. Serena laughed out loud at his overblown acting and agreed.

"Are you sure Travis?" Miss Haruna asked. "Serena is not exactly the best student in the world."

"I'm sure she will do fine as a guide. Unless, of course, you don't wish me to choose her?"

"It's your choice. Please move your desk next to hers for today." Miss Haruna was not exactly overjoyed by Travis's choice, but at least he wouldn't be taking away the attention of someone who could actually get some good out of the class. However as the morning passed, Miss Haruna noticed something unusual. Every time Serena started to doze off, or drift into a daydream, Travis would gently pull her attention back to the class. He would ask her a question just as she was about to zone out, or occasionally poke her. When Serena tried to eat her lunch at ten o'clock, Travis grabbed it and pulled it out of her reach. In fact, with Travis's help, Serena made it to lunch not only awake, but attentive as well!

At lunch, Travis gave Serena her lunch bag and left to look around a little on his own. Serena went outside where Amy and Lita were waiting for her.

"I saw you with that new boy Travis. He reminds me of..."



"My old boyfriend!" All three chorus together.

"I noticed that he actually got you to pay attention in class. I didn't think anyone could do that!" Amy said without looking up from her book. "You might actually start to get good grades if he can keep it up."

"Ha Ha Amy. Very funny." Serena said through a mouth constantly working at her lunch. "I noticed that even you had your hand raised. I thought boys took your attention away from studying."

Amy blushed lightly. "He seemed like a good student and I thought we could talk of schoolwork. That's all"

"Well if you want to talk to someone about schoolwork, why don't you talk more to Melvin? He likes schoolwork too." Serena and Lita laughed at the expression on Amy's face. "Not your idea of a fun date, huh?"

"What are you doing this afternoon?" Amy said, obviously trying to change the subject.

"Travis asked me to show him around the town after school and I said I would. Where do you think I should take him?"

"Trying to make Darien jealous?" Lita asked laughingly. She had just been making a joke and was very surprised at Serena's reaction.

Serena exploded. "As if I care what that self-centered jerk thinks! He doesn't want to see me anymore, and I don't want to see him either!"

With that, Serena burst into tears and ran off into the schoolyard.

"There must be something very wrong." Lita said worriedly "She didn't even finish her lunch."

"It's just this break up with Darien. It's made her even more emotional than usual." Amy replied quietly. "Just leave her alone right now."

"I hope your right."

WHAM! For the second time that day Serena slammed into a person while running. For the second time she got up murmuring apologies. And for the second time she looked up to see someone she knew. This time however the blue eyes she looked at were clear and smiling.

"Do you have a reason for running into me all the time or are you just trying to get to know me?" Travis waited for Serena's smile, but this time it didn't come. His smile faded as he saw the tears constantly dripping down her face. "Serena, what's wrong?"

"Nothing" she gulped. "Nothing's wrong." With that, Serena took off running once more.

Travis stared after her for a long moment. Then he started to follow her.

He found her in a secluded corner of the school yard. She was curled up against a tree, sobbing.

"Serena" he said softly "is something wrong?"

"I told you nothing is wrong. Just leave me alone." The words were difficult to understand through the sobbing, but Travis understood what she meant to say.

"Serena, if you tell me about it maybe I can help." Travis was very worried, now. In just the few hours he had known her, he had found her to be good natured and light hearted. Even taking her lunch hadn't made her mad at him. Seeing her like this was awful.

"I said 'Leave Me Alone'" she shouted, turning quickly. She moved so quickly that Travis barely even saw the hand that zipped toward him. He certainly didn't have enough time to do anything.

WHAP!! Serena stared in disbelief at the handprint that had suddenly appeared on Travis's cheek. "Oh, I'm sorry, Travis! I didn't mean to hit you. I was just angry. Oh, please don't be mad at me, please. I didn't mean it, really." WAAH! This time her crying was her normal wail, not the soft sobbing that worried Travis and would have worried any of her friends if they had heard her.



"It's okay, Serena. I shouldn't have bothered you when you said you didn't want to see anyone. I just thought that you needed someone to talk to. I'm the one that's sorry." With that Travis stood up to leave.

"No, Travis, wait. I guess I do need to talk to someone."

Travis sat down next to her. "Boyfriend trouble?"

"Yeah. How did you guess?" Serena looked up at him. She wasn't wailing anymore, but tears were still running down her cheeks.

"I remember how I felt when Jessica broke up with me. It felt like 'I' was breaking up." Travis's eyes grew distant as he remembered. "I didn't want to talk to anyone, was mad at everyone, and blamed myself for everything. Sound familiar?"

"Very. See, Darien and I were meant to be. It was fated, we both knew it and we loved each other more than anything else in the world. At least, I thought we both felt it. We were getting along great, and then..." Serena trailed off.

"And then? What happened?"

"I don't know. One day I bumped into him and he said we couldn't see each other anymore. He said he just didn't love me anymore." Serena's crying grew harder and she barely heard Travis's next question.

"Did he tell you why?"

She turned to him quickly, causing him to flinch back slightly. He still remembered the last time she moved so quickly. Serena didn't notice. "No,

he didn't. He just said he didn't love me. And...and every time we meet he turns around and walk away, like he doesn't even want to see me. But..."

"But?"

"But, every time I need him, whenever I'm in trouble, he'll be there. If I'm in danger, he'll be there to save me. Always." Serena wasn't looking at Travis anymore, her eyes distant as she thought back. "I know we had some problems. A lot of people thought he was too old for me. Especially my father. I once introduced Darien as my friend instead of my boyfriend because I knew how my father would react. I was right too. Daddy doesn't think I'm old enough to have a boyfriend my own age, much less one who is six years older."

"Six years?"

"Yes, he's twenty. And no, he isn't to old for me. Between the two of us, age has never mattered." Serena sat and thought for a long moment before she started speaking abruptly. "I know I'm immature, and I get bad grades, and I'm clumsy, and lazy, and I eat too much."

"Did he tell you that?"

"No, of course not. I knew he felt it sometimes, I could see it in his eyes, he would get annoyed with me, but it was never for long. He would just smile and we would go on. Raye is the one who keeps telling me about it." Serena was surprised at how easy it was to talk to him. This was a guy she had only met this morning and yet she was telling him things she had never told her best friends.

Travis thought for a long moment before he asked his next question. He too was surprised at how easily she was speaking to him. I guess its true what they say about it being easier to speak to someone you don't know. "What hurts you the most about breaking up with him?"

Serena's pause was even longer than Travis's as she tried to find an answer. "I think it's the fact that he never told me why. One day everything was wonderful, the next he couldn't stand to be within sight of me. And he never gave me a reason why. 'What did I do?'" she shouted to the air. "What did I do wrong that made him stop loving me? Is there something wrong with me?

Something he only saw after he got close to me? What did I do?" By the end of this speech she was whispering, caught up in questions she didn't know the answer to, she had almost forgotten Travis was even there. Until he started to speak.

"Don't!" his voice was almost harsh as he barked out the word. Serena looked up in surprise and stared at his hard face. "Don't take all the blame on yourself. It's the easiest way I know to fall into depression. It isn't all your fault. It's not even mostly your fault. Don't let yourself fall into that trap."



"What do you mean? How is it a trap?" This didn't make any sense to Serena. It had to be her fault, whose else could it be?

"Thinking like that makes you doubt yourself, believe me, I know! It sounds to me like this Darien was being a real jerk."

"Heh!" Serena said, very indignant. "Only I am allowed to call Darien a jerk!"

"Okay, okay" Travis laughed, happy to see Serena returned to normal. "One last question, alright?"

"What?" Serena said, still annoyed at the slight to 'her' boyfriend.

"What happened today to make you cry like that? Is today the day he broke up with you?" Travis cursed himself as he saw her face fall.

"No, he broke up with me a month ago. Today, he told me he was leaving on a vacation. He says its not because of me but I know he's lying. He's going away because I've been bothering him so much."

Travis just looked at the downcast girl for a long moment. "Serena" he said quietly, "it is not your fault. Repeat that with me."

"What?" Serena couldn't believe the way Travis was speaking, as if she were a child Reenie's age.

"Come on, say it. 'It is not my fault'." Serena still looked at him as if he was crazy but repeated it.

"It is not my fault. There! Happy!"

"When you believe it you will be a lot happier. Trust me. Now come on, we're going to be late back to class."

"Oh no!" Serena wailed.

"Now what?" Travis asked.

"I didn't finish my lunch! I'm so hungry! WAAH!" Serena's wail got softer as she ran for her lunch.

"I have the feeling she's back to normal." Travis chuckled quietly to himself as he watched her run. Then he stopped. "Hey, I didn't eat either!"

If anyone had been watching, they would have been very surprised. When necessary Travis could eat as fast as Serena! He could also rival her in the amount of food he ate, a feat that it had been declared absolutely impossible for a human being to do!

Serena and Travis both rushed to their seats just as the bell rang. Miss Haruna was about to tell Travis to move to another seat because it seemed that Serena was a bad influence on him, when she remembered the good influence Travis was, and decided to leave it alone. During the rest of the day she was very glad of her restraint as Travis managed to keep Serena's attention on the class.

After school, Serena said good-bye to her friends and asked that everyone meet at the temple after dinner because there was something she needed to tell them.

"You're going to tell us how your afternoon with Travis goes, aren't you?"

Lita said teasingly. She was a little apprehensive after the last time she teased Serena, but although Serena looked a little sad she came back easily.

"I really doubt you would be interested in the places we go. I mean you already know the interesting places around here. No, this is kind of important though. Please make sure that Mina and Raye are there as well. I'll bring Reenie."

Amy looked at her seriously. "I notice that you and Reenie are getting along better, is there a reason for that?"

"Yes but I'm not going to tell you what it is! There's Travis, I gotta go.

"Bye!" And with that Serena ran off.

"Any idea what it's about, Amy?" Lita asked the genius of the group.

"We'll know after dinner. Can you tell Mina? I can get Raye, but then I have to do my homework if we're going to meet after dinner. I don't want to lose any study time." Lita sighed as she agreed with Amy's plan. None of the others truly understood why Amy, the one girl who could get straight A's even without studying, felt the need to study more than anyone else in class.

Serena caught up with Travis outside of the school. "Where did you want to go first?" she asked. "We can go to the arcade, the mall, the skating rink, the chess palace, or just look at the highlights."

"Actually, my lady" falling back into his joking mode, "My dearest wish would be to sit 'neath trees of green, on grass so thick and watch the children play."

Serena thought about that for a long moment. "Do you mean you want to go to the park?"

"Indeed, fair one, thou hast found the answer to my every prayer, for I have not felt the blessed sun upon my face in far too long. Is there perhaps a placid pool of tranquillity to gaze upon as well?"

"Why do you talk like that?" Serena asked, exasperated "and if you mean a lake, yes there is."

"What you don't like my quasi-formal mode? I am hurt to the quick!" Travis somehow managed to look dejected even as he smiled.

"It sounds stupid, and it's hard to understand." Serena started walking toward the park even as she spoke.

"If you think it's hard to understand, you should try to speak it. It can tie up your tongue faster than anything I know."

"Then why do you speak like that?"

"Because it's fun, of course. Why else? Now, you did say there was a park with a lake, didn't you? And we are going to be doing what I want to do today, aren't we?" Travis was looking around as they walked. Not only did he want to know the way to the park, but he wanted to make sure she didn't suspect what he was going to do.

"Yes, of course, it is your first day after all." They had reached the front entrance to the park. It was exactly as Travis had wished, with green grass, trees, a lake and children playing.

Travis led the way to one of the picnic tables with a good view. "What if we don't get to see everything today? Will you show me around tomorrow as well?"

"I suppose I could. Now what do you want to do?" Serena sat down and put her bag next to her. She was not expecting what he did next.

Travis sat down, put down his book bag and got out his homework. "Well, what are you waiting for? We can't go anywhere else until we do our homework."

"WHAT!" Serena screeched, causing several kids to look up from where they were playing. "What do you mean homework? I thought we were going sightseeing?"

"We are going sightseeing. After we do our homework. You did promise we would do what I want today. And right now I want to get my homework done, so I don't have to do it later." Travis was grinning inside as he said this. He figured she hated doing homework and was greatly enjoying her reaction.

"Look, how about if I go do some things on my own while you're doing your homework. I'll come back in about an hour, okay?" Serena couldn't believe that Travis actually wanted to do 'homework'! Not only that, but he expected her to do it too. Homework was only supposed to be done at the last moment and put off forever if possible. That was her philosophy.

Obviously, it wasn't Travis's. "No way. You said 'we' would do whatever I wanted today. That means 'you' have to do your homework too. Don't worry,

I'll help you, but we're not leaving here until we are both finished." Travis grinned openly at the look on her face. He didn't really want to do his homework, but he was having fun forcing her to do hers. Besides, studying was always more fun if done together.

"You're doing this on purpose, aren't you?" Serena's voice was resigned. "Well let's get it over with."

"Let's start with math." Travis said as he opened his math book.

"Math? I hate math. It never makes any sense. Like this problem. 3b 7 28, I mean, what is b and what are you supposed to do with it? Amy tried to explain it to me, but I just can't understand." Serena sighed in disgust while looking at the problem. She really 'had' tried to understand when Amy was explaining it to her. She was tired of getting bad grades all the time. It just didn't make any sense.

"There are only two things you've got to remember when doing these problems," Travis said. "Number one is to get the letter by itself and number two is to always be fair to both sides."

"What does that mean?" Serena said, still staring at the deadly problem in front of her.

"Number one means that your answer will have the letter on one side and a number on the other. Number two means that what ever you do to one side, you have to do to the other. Take this problem. You have to get the letter by itself. What is the letter?"

"B obviously. Not even I am that dumb."

"Just making sure that you are paying attention. Now to get the letter by itself you have to get rid of the numbers. Let's start with the seven. Looking at the problem, how would you get rid of the seven."

"Throw it away" at Travis's glare Serena looked at the problem again "Minus it?"

"Very good. Now what is rule Number two?"

"Um...be fair?"

"Very very good. Now if you are going to subtract seven from the left side what do you do to the right side?" Travis was watching her carefully as he asked this question. He knew she could get the right answer if she believed she could, but she was so used to not being able to do it that she didn't try.

"Subtract seven!" She looked to Travis to make sure she was right and then wrote out the problem once more 3b7-728-7. "Now to do the subtraction. Um..seven minus seven is zero, right?" she looked once more at Travis to make sure she was doing it right. "And twenty-eight minus seven is..um.. twenty-one!" And she wrote out the new problem 3b21. "Now what?"

"What do you think you have to do next?" When she looked blank, he asked.

"What is rule number one?"

"Um..Be fair?" One look at his face made her start thinking again. "Put the letter by itself? So I have to get rid of the three. I subtract it?" Somehow Serena had the feeling this was not the right answer and that feeling was confirmed when she looked at Travis.

"What does a number next to a letter mean?" Travis asked. Serena still looked totally confused. "It means multiply. This actually says three times b. So how do you get rid of a multiplied number?"

Serena thought about it for a long time. She almost asked him for the answer, but one look at his face convinced her that he wouldn't help her with this part. Okay, think Serena. If you subtract an added number... then you're...um...doing the 'opposite'. Without thinking she cried out "Opposite!"

Travis's smile covered his face. "Exactly right! And what is the opposite of multiplication?" Come on Serena I know you can get it

Serena didn't even stop to think, she knew. "Dividing. You divide 'both sides' by three, right?" At Travis's nod she finished the problem 3b/321/3. b7. "So b7, yes?"

Travis reached over and hugged her. "I knew you could do it. Now do the next one and remember the rules."

Serena repeated to herself Get the letter by itself and be fair, I can do this. She did the next one and yelled out loud when she got it right. Then and there she stopped complaining about doing the homework, even English. Travis was able to explain it in ways that actually made sense and they worked in companiable silence for over an hour. A silence broken only when

Serena asked a question or Travis explained a concept. With Travis's help, Serena managed to get all her homework done, and even managed to understand many of the concepts that had totally blown her mind.

"How come I could never understand this when Miss Haruna or Amy explained it?" Serena asked after they had put everything up.

"I don't want to say anything bad about them, but from what I saw today, Miss Haruna doesn't really believe you can do it. You don't either. With that attitude, it's no wonder you couldn't understand. Amy tends to talk over your head, doesn't she?"

"I guess she does. She doesn't mean to, she just can't help herself. She thinks that way, so of course she talks that way." Serena sighed as she thought of her friends and then she brightened. "Won't they be surprised when they find out I've done all my homework already!"

Travis laughed with her. "I bet you can't wait to see their faces!" He agreed. "Anyway, now that we've finished our homework, I guess that means we need to start sightseeing. Don't you agree?"

"Great! Let's start with the arcade. You do like to play video games, don't you?" Her voice made it clear that she felt video games were very important.

"I love them," he agreed truthfully, "bet I can beat you on any one you care to play."

"You're on!"

An hour later, they left the arcade. Serena looked a little down. "I can not believe you won every single game."

"I told you I could beat you. In fact, I believe I said I 'bet' I could beat you. I guess that means I get a forfeit." Travis grinned. He seemed to be doing that a lot today.

"Wait a minute! I didn't agree to bet anything."

"You said, and I qoute 'You're on'. That sounds like agreeing to a bet to me. And since we didn't specify anything before the games, I get to choose what my prize will be." As he looked at Serena, he could see that she agreed with his reasoning, but was not at all happy about it. "So your forfeit will be having to show me around town every day after school until I've seen all the good parts."

"That won't be so hard." Serena said immediately brightening then dimming again. "Does that mean we'll be doing our homework together every day too?"

"Indeed it does. Do you really mind?" Serena thought about it for a moment, and how well she'd done with his help and shook her head. "However" Travis continued. "That means that your time after school is mine, not Miss Haruna's. No detention's are allowed, so I'll be by to pick you up at 7:00 tomorrow morning." He braced himself for an explosion. He got one.

"WHAT! WHAT DID YOU SAY! 7:00! NO WAY! THERE IS NO WAY I AM GETTING UP THAT EARLY! NO WAY! DO YOU HEAR ME!" Serena yelled at the the top of her lungs. She had very loud lungs.

Andrew came out of the arcade to see where the siren was coming from. He walked up to Travis. "What did you say to her?"

"I told her I was going to pick her up at 7:00 tomorrow morning." Andrew grinned. Then Travis spoke again. "If you're not downstairs by 7:10 I'll come up there and pour a gallon of water on you."

Something extraordinary happened.

Serena shut up.

In the silence that followed, all that could be heard was Travis's final words. "I'll see you in the morning. Don't you need to be home for dinner soon?"

That night at the Tsukino house.

"Hey, meatball head, who was that boy I saw you with in the park? I saw you hug him. Is he your new boyfriend?" The little girl with pink hair and red eyes smiled as she spoke these words. She knew how Serena's father would react to them.

"Boy! You were hugging a boy? Who is he? And why haven't we met him? It's not that Darren or whatever his name is, was it? Because he's way too old for you!" Serena's father continued on like this for several minutes before Serena could get a word in edgewise.

"His name is Travis Watson, he's the same age I am, today was his first day at school and I was his guide. I was hugging him because after he conned me into doing my homework this afternoon, he showed me an easy way to do my math and I got one right all by myself. In fact, I got all my homework done and he said that all the ones he checked were right! And by the way Reenie, why were you spying on me?" Serena sat backed and waited for the information to filter through to her family.

Her father "Fourteen, huh? I suppose that's all right."

Her mother "You did your homework and got some right? I'm so proud of you!"

Her brother, Sammy "He must have done all the work if you got one right!"

Reenie "I was not spying on you. Why would I want to spy on someone like you? You never do anything interesting."

"Daddy, you wouldn't let a strange boy into my bedroom, would you?" This was an answer Serena was very interested in hearing.

"Certainly not. You're not allowed to have a boy in your room until your married. Why would you even ask?" Mr. Tsukino was a little worried. He knew his daughter was growing up, but he had no intention of letting her grow up too fast.

"Because Travis said that he was going to come by to pick me up at 7:00 tomorrow morning and if I wasn't down by 7:10 he would come up and dump water over my head. But since you won't allow a boy into my bedroom, I don't have to worry do I?" Serena was very pleased with herself for thinking that up. She soon became less pleased.

"He thinks he can wake you up and get you to school on time? In that case, I think I can make an exception for him. After all he would only be in there for a few minutes." Reenie and Sammy burst out laughing at the expression on Serena's face. Even her parents let out restrained chuckles. Serena looked like she had just bitten into a lemon.

"Look at the time. I've got to get to the temple. C'mon Reenie, you need to be at this meeting, too." Serena left quickly barely hearing her mother's "Be back before full dark."

As they walked, Serena asked Reenie how much she had seen, the week before, when the four sister's were healed. "If you're asking if I know that you're Sailor Moon, yes I do."

"Bet that surprised you, huh? Was there anything about it you wanted to ask me?" Serena looked down at the munchkin who walked by her side. All though they had started out as enemies, Serena had always felt a deep liking for the child. Not that she would tell anyone, of course.

Over the last few weeks, Serena had been adding up the facts about Reenie, the answer she came to was a very surprising one. However the more she thought of it, the more she liked it. Serena looked down once more at the child she was almost positive was her daughter. Everything added up, the crescent moon, the family hairdo, even Luna Ball, who looked almost exactly like Luna. Serena had decided not to say anything to anyone until she knew for sure, but already she loved the little girl and had started showing that love when they were alone. Reenie, for her part, had found someone who understood her, in the older girl. From the very beginning, she had felt a bond with Serena, but she was stubborn too. Both she and Serena had decided not to change anything in front of the others, but when they were alone their hands would clasp if they weren't paying attention and both would pretend not to notice. It was their secret and they were not yet ready to share it with anyone else.

"Why won't you let me have the crystal?" Reenie finally asked the question that had been building inside her for the last few days. "It's the only thing that can save my mother."

"I know sweetheart, but I need it to fight. If I gave it to you it would leave this time defenseless. It would do your mother no good in the future if the present is destroyed." Serena looked into Reenie's red eyes. "Do you understand what I mean?"

"I guess so. But how will I save her? I have to save my mommy!" Reenie started to cry as she thought of the mother she had left behind. Serena pulled her into the shadow of a tree before dropping down and enveloping her in a hug.

"Look Reenie. I promise you this. Are you listening?" Reenie nodded her head. "When Rubeus and his evil is defeated, then we will all go with you to save your mother, and I'll give her the crystal myself. Okay Reenie?"

Reenie's tears dried up as she looked into Serena's eyes and saw that she meant every word she said. "Promise?"

"In the name of the moon, Reenie. And that is a promise I will never break. Now let's get to the temple before we're later than usual."

To be continued...