Title: A royal visit and some advice
Author: Ree
Theme: Starlights (Proverb)
Genre: General
Version: Manga - Crystal Tokyo
Rating: G

Starlights and Kakyuu are of course Takeuchi Naoko's. I just requested them to spill their guts for a while and tell their story. Serenity, Endymion, Pluto, and Small Lady are hers as well.

Serenity paced back and forth in her bedroom. Endymion and Small Lady watched her. Every few moments Serenity would check the clock on the wall. Finally Serenity turned to face them.

Looking right at Endymion she ordered: "Make time go faster!"

Endymion just smiled and shook his head. "They'll get here soon enough. Why don't you quite pacing and make sure that all is in ready for them?"

Serenity stared at him for a moment. She knew that he was just trying to find her something to do so time would go by faster. 'So time will pass faster... Well if that is the only way to do it... then I'll try it.'

She walked to the door. Pausing with it open she turned back to them. "Thanks. I knew you could find a way to speed up time." Then grinning she went down the hall.

Endymion looked down at the little girl curled up next to him. Her eyes were wide with shock. Reaching down he drew her into a hug.

Then with a smile evident in his voice he tried to comfort her."It's okay Small Lady. Mama will go back to being calm once Queen Kakyuu and her court arrive." 'But it is nice to see the old Usa pop out again.'

Small Lady hugged him back, and then after telling him thanks and bye she also ran down the hall. 'Mama wants time to go faster. Maybe she can help.' Her footsteps lead her quickly to Pluto's door. Pluto stepped out of the shadow when she saw who it was.

"Nice to see you today Small Lady. How is my princess?" Pluto's voice sounded calm as normal, but Small Lady had learned to hear all the inflections in it along time ago. Pluto was happy today.

"I'm fine, but Mama isn't."

For a split second Pluto tensed up. Small Lady continued "She wants time to go faster. Can you do that?"

Pluto relaxed and showed one of her rare smiles. "No Little One I can't. And your Mama knows that she has to be patient. This is just one the things she used to do when she was having problems waiting." 'I'm glad you got to see her as something other than The Queen that she normally shows everyone. A little of the old Usagi is peeping through. You're not that much different from your Mama. Take a good look Little One.'

Small Lady tilted her head. "Mama used to do that a lot or just when important visitors were coming?"

Pluto considered her reply. "She once was a lot like you little one."

Suddenly a small sound reverberated through the room. Pluto glanced at the nearby console. "It appears the guest have arrived. I think you should join you parents."

"They're here?! Bye Puu." Small Lady spun about and ran towards the reception hall. 'Mama was like me... No, she couldn't have been. She is so different from me. Everyone else says so.'

When she came through the door her Mama and Papa was standing quietly side-by-side. She crossed quickly to them. 'Mama looks like herself again.' After she joined them the doors opened and Queen Kakyuu and her court came in. The formal welcome began.

Small Lady walked through the garden trying to find a little peace and quiet. She knew she couldn't visit Puu today. As she wondered through she thought she heard voices. Without conscious thought she followed the voices. She stopped when she could hear what they were saying.

"She looks so young still." The first voice sounded surprised.

"Yeah she does." "The second voice sounded tired.

"But isn't that incredible. How can she be so old, but not show it?" The voice still sounded amazed.

"Go ask a mirror", was the exasperated reply.

She heard footsteps walking away. Looking around she noticed that she was next to one of her favorite grottoes. She slipped between two bushes and into the small clearing. Scampering up to the fountain in the middle, she stopped short when she saw a tall white haired lady. She remembered her from the formal reception. She was looking into the fountain, and letting her fingers play across the surface. Small Lady started backing up when the white haired lady glanced over her shoulder.

With a smile the white haired lady gave a small bow. "Welcome, Princess Usagi." Peering a little closer at Small Lady, her smile broadened. "You look a lot like your Mama. I think you will grow to be just like her when you get older."

"You knew my Mama when she was young, Ms...?" Small Lady dropped her eyes in embarrassment because she couldn't remember her name.

Bowing the white haired lady introduced herself. "Yaten Hikari. I am pleased to meet you, Princess Usagi."

"Ms. Hikari, you knew my Mama when she was young?" Small Lady looked expectantly at Yaten.

"Yes I did, for a brief while. And please call me Yaten, your highness."

Small Lady asked shyly. "Could you call me Usagi?"

Yaten's eyes softened for a moment. "Of course, Usagi."

Small Lady walked up to the fountain, and leaned over the edge to trail her fingers through the water too. She muttered softly "I hope I do grow up one day."

Yaten remained quiet for a moment looking for a good reply, and deciding if she should reply. She trailed her fingers closer to Usagi's. "What makes you think you won't grow up?"

Usagi saw her vision blur as the tears welled up in her eyes. She hadn't expected Yaten to hear her comment. How could she explain her problem to a guest. She didn't know why she trusted Yaten, but she felt that she could tell her everything. Maybe it was because she wasn't part of Mama's court. As she trailed her fingers around making circles that went around Yaten's and hers she thought about it, and finally decided to trust her.

Trying to keep the tears out of her voice she spoke in a hushed voice. "I'm 807 years old. Shouldn't I look like Mama yet? Shouldn't I be an adult already? Why do I look like a four year old?" She sniffed a little bit when she was done and looked up at Yaten.

Yaten looked down at her and then returned her gaze to the fountain. She made circles that went around hers and Usagi's fingers. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Usagi was watching the water too. Looking away from the water, Yaten let her gaze drift around the grotto taking in all the trees and flowers. Slowly it drifted back to Usagi.

Finally she thought she had an idea of what to say. "You shouldn't worry about growing up slowly. Look at the trees. They take a long time to grow. But they live a very long time. If you look at the little flowers that grow quickly, you'll see that they die quickly as well."

Usagi looked up at her again, and her hand stilled. "Then I'm like a tree?"

Yaten smiled. "Yes, you are."

"I want to be like a bush. They grow quickly, but live a long time." Usagi pouted.

Yaten giggled. " If we all had our wishes... You are you Usagi. You will grow up. Trust me. The only thing you should worry about is when you stop completely. That means you stop learning, living, loving... when that happens you should be concerned."

Usagi's eyes met Yaten's as she felt the weight fall off her shoulders. "Thank you. So I'm like a tree. I take my time growing, but I will be big and beautiful one day."

Yaten nodded. "Yes you will. Remember it will take some time, but even little trees are cute and needed." 'Though actually you are a little star, gathering your strength, getting ready to shine. And when you shine, it will be as bright as your Mother's.'

Usagi grinned and then flicked water onto Yaten. Yaten shielded back from the spray, and sent her own back at the little princess. Smiling they spent until lunchtime in the garden playing.