Chapter 1: Nothing Special

Serena sat at her mirrior, brushing her long golden hair. Her mom had been insisting that she get a haircut, but Serena refused. Sailor Moon has signature pigtails that just can't go away. She smiled to herself and laid the brush down on the table in front of her. Luna walked into the room, yawning lazily.

"Isn't it time for school?" she mewed. Serena jumped up, one part of her hair up, the other not.

"Oh my gosh!" she screamed, frantically gathering her school things. "It's the first day and I'm going to to be late!"

Luna watched her run down the street, amused at the familiar sight.

"And here she promised that her senior year would be different," she said to herself.

Serena ran as fast as she could, her heart pounding. This year was supposed to be different. She was going to prove to all her teachers that she was mature and responsible. So much for that. She crashed into a pole, and fell flat on her back, stars spinning around her head. She blinked a few times, got up, and raced off to school, running through the doors just as the late bell rang.

"Not again," she groaned. She walked to Miss Haruna's class and sat down, out of breath with a large bump on her head.

"You're late again," Miss Haruna said without even looking up from her book.

"I know, but I would have made if that pole hadn't gotten in my way," Serena complained.

"Sure, let's just blame our clumsiness on the inanimate object."

"But Miss Haruna!"

"Silence! Not another word out of you!"

Serena laid her face in her arms, complaining in her head. She was so tired. She drifted off to sleep, and next thing she knew, Miss Haruna had slammed a large ruler right next to her head. Serena screamed and fell out of her chair.

"I'm tired of this! Four years and you haven't changed a bit! You aren't getting detention anymore, you get suspension!" Miss Haruna yelled. Serena's eyes grew wide. Detention she could handle, but suspension? Now she definitely wouldn't get into college.

"Miss Haruna," Lita spoke up. "Don't you think you're being a tad harsh?"

"Dention for you too!" Lita shrank back into her seat. Ami stayed quiet.

Serena trudged slowly home, a note from the Principal in her hand. Her parents had already received a phone call, and they were furious. She sat down on a bench at the bus stop, preparing herself for the worst. Darien came walking up behind her, and wrapped his arms around her.

"Why so down?" he asked.

"Miss Haruna suspended me for an entire week, because I was late and fell asleep in class," she sighed.

"You do that every day."

Serena glared at him, then stood up.

"Well excuse me if I can't ever do anything right!" she cried, tears forming in her eyes.

"Hey, I didn't mean it like that," Darien took her hand. "What's really bothering you?"

"I'm nothing. I try so hard, but nothing I do ever comes out right. Ami's a genius, Lita can cook, Mina is an amazing athlete, Rai is just...awesome, and what am I? Even Rini has a talent! She's a gymnast!"

"Honey, you are special," Darien whispered, pulling her close to him. Serena pulled away.

"Don't lie to me!" Tears were now streaming down her face. She gave one last sob and ran off. Darien stared as she disappeared. He sat down on the bench, sighing as the bus pulled up. Something was wrong, but he just couldn't figure out what it was.

Serena sat at the park, staring at her reflection in the lake. Why had she snapped at Darien? He was the only one who always understood her, and now she'd pushed him away. The stress was inescapable. She made one mistake, and now the rest of her life was ruined. She wouldn't get into college with suspension on her record, it would have been hard enough just with all those detentions. Her grades hadn't improved much, and she had no special talent to get her through life.

"I thought being queen was all I had to be," she sighed. "But I don't even know how to get back to the moon kingdom. And I can't be queen until we reopen the kingdom."

The sun was setting, casting a pink light over everything. The gentle breeze made small ripples on the water and blew her hair back. The leaves in the trees rustled, and somewhere a bird called out. Darien watched his princess from a distance, debating whether to talk to her or not. He decided she just needed to be alone for a while, and went home. He'd call her in the morning.

Serena sighed one last time, then stood up. It was dark outside, and the stars had just come out. She stood there, mesmerized by their beauty and simplicity.

"Starlight, starbright, I wish I may, I wish I might," she breathed. "Have this wish, I wish tonight." She closed her eyes and concentrated. One dim star twinkled, becoming the brightest one in the sky.