Disclaimer: Sailor Moon is... um... *shifty eyes* Are there Toei associates around? Crap... *mumbles* Sailor Moon is not mine.

A/N: *Singing along to "Sailor War Supreme", courtesy of Serandi82* Oh, um, hello! Hee hee. Been a few months, huh? That's my fault for having way too many WIPs. Ah well! That's the glory of a Muse! Thank you so much to ChibiUsa20, CharmedSerenity3, Sailor Stella, Serandi82, Maiden Virgo, mae-E, Richforce, Hikari Urania, PriestessHelene, debora diskey, PrincessSerenity1976, chimichurri, tbaby08, Butta Usagi, and samann2845.

Snapshots of the Royals

Part 36: "Reminders"

The room was dead silent but for typical humdrum bustling beyond the closed door; a gaggle of sound and movement that the lone occupant paid no mind.

Neo-Queen Serenity sighed, fingering the petals of a delicate crystalline rose with a certain sense of reverence to her features. So lost was she in reverie that the woman nearly missed the creak announcing the presence of a new individual come to invade her quiet reminiscing.

"Usagi-chan?" Sailor Mercury's gentle voice prompted, a touch surprised. "What are you doing here?"

"Hmm?" the Queen responded noncommittally, without looking up from her flower. Mercury advanced further into the room, hesitating at Serenity's side as she watched the blonde lovingly caress down the smooth viridian stem.

"Are you alright?"

"Oh. Yes. Yes, of course," Serenity answered, seeming to snap out of her thoughts at last. She smiled up at the concerned Senshi reassuringly. "I'm perfectly fine, Ami-chan. This room holds such nostalgia, though. It's easy to get swept away in the memories."

It was Mercury's turn to grin as she took in her surroundings, in particular the bed Serenity was perched atop. "This was where Small Lady was born, so I can only imagine. Do you come here often to escape the noise? There's a rather peaceful ambiance here, as if the room itself is paying homage to the beautiful child granted life within its confines."

"I agree, but... truthfully, no. I haven't stepped foot into this section of the hospital wing for quite some time now," the Neo-Queen admitted.

"Why the change?"

At first, Serenity did not reply. Instead, she made a strange little wave over the silvery blossoms as her blue-haired friend watched intently on. Almost immediately after Serenity's fingertips brushed against the glittering crystal, a dazzling display of rainbows shimmered within before being replaced by a flare of pearly white. A holographic image of Small Lady as a baby, cooing and wagging her tiny fingers up at the pair, formed inside the transparent rose. Recognition sparked in Mercury's eyes and she gasped,

"Isn't that Mamoru-san's gift from Small Lady's first birthday at the lake?"

"I had a very rough morning, and Small Lady only seemed to exacerbate the problem with her difficult behavior. Before I knew it we were fighting; I was taking my frustrations out on her and thinking things I shouldn't have... awful things, truly awful. Like... how much simpler everything would be without a high-maintenance daughter to worry about." Tears sprung in Serenity's eyes and she stifled a little sob as the hologram Small Lady blew kisses at her and giggled.

"Come now, Usagi-chan," Mercury soothed sternly, laying a hand on her leader's shoulder. "Everyone experiences dark moments when they wish for something they don't really want. It's human nature, and your guilty conscience just proves that your admission was no more than a product of stress."

Serenity graced her companion with a watery smile. "Oh, I know. And that's why I'm here. I needed a reminder. A reminder of why exactly I gave that wonderfully spirited girl life in the first place; of just how much I love her."

"Is it working?"

"Like a charm," the Queen chuckled, affectionately rubbing the pad of her thumb over the animated tribute to her pink-headed offspring. "I'll have to thank Mamo-chan once again for giving me such a considerate and useful present. I have a suspicious feeling this old rose will serve me well into the future."

Mercury shivered theatrically. "Small Lady the teenager? Usagi-chan, I think you'll need to ask Mamoru-san to make plenty more if you ever want to survive those onerous years..."

Neo-Queen Serenity cringed, pressing the rose to her bosom. "Ugh, Ami-chan, not yet. Please, you're disrupting my progress. I was almost done being reminded of my strength as a mother! Don't say the 't' word yet..."

Mercury laughed aloud, ducking out of the room with a gloved hand pressed over her mouth to suppress the insatiable giggles. "Sorry!"

A/N: Short piece of fluff to quelch all your snapshot cravings! Kindly review and brighten my day?

AngelMoon Girl