AN: I would like to thank Silver Sailor Ganymede for allowing me to write the second chapter of her story. I'd also like to thank Angel Raye and Mini Saturn Jess for giving me permission to use any of their characters that may appear in the story. Please go and read the first chapter so you can follow along with this chapter. I hope you will enjoy both chapters. Although mine be slightly different from Silver Sailor Ganymede.
"Onii-san, I guess I'm really going to be in trouble, aren't I?" Maia asked quietly as she and Ariel walked through the palace gates.
"I don't know Maia. Right now, mom's just really worried about you. And I can't really hide this red mark on my face." Ariel answered. She smiled sympathetically as Maia winced.
She felt her sister's hand tighten in hers as they approached the palace doors. Their mother was standing inside, talking with the queen. They had no sooner entered the palace when Ami ran over and knelt in front of Maia.
"Sweetheart, are you alright? Why did you run off like that?" Ami asked, very concerned for her youngest daughter.
a"Sweetheart is it!! Now you're concerned! As if I'd believe you!" Maia snarled, jerking away from Ami.
"Maia, what's gotten into you!?" Ami replied, shocked at Maia's anger towards her.
"Mom, you, dad and I really need to talk." Ariel cut in before Mari could say anything else. "Can Maia go somewhere for tonight?"
"I'll be taking her tonight Ariel. You are right. You and your parents do need to talk." The queen replied and gently took Maia's hand into hers. Serenity smiled gently at her friend, silently telling Ami that things would work out.
When they arrived at the royal quarters, Serenity guided the young girl upstairs and into her bathroom. Endymion was just closing the closet door when the two walked in. He looked questioningly at his wife, wondering what was going on.
"I'll tell you later dear." Serenity simply replied.
"Alright, I'll see you downstairs." Endymion smiled as he kissed her cheek. Serenity turned the water on in the very large tub. After adjusting the temperature, she sat down on the toilet and looked intensely at the little girl in front of her, for a moment.
"Now, I believe you need to tell me what is bothering you Maia. It's not like you to yell back at your mother….or run off." Serenity replied softly as she helped Maia peel off her wet clothes.
After being helped into the tub, Serenity scrubbed Maia back while she waited for an answer. Maia just sat there, hoping her mentor wouldn't press the matter; but that wasn't going to happen.
"Your mother already told me about the science test. I have a feeling there is a lot more that is bothering you, and things are not going to get any better if you don't tell someone." Serenity replied firmly but gently, lifting Maia's face to meet her gaze.
"You'll just tell mom." Maia sulked.
"I won't tell her anything if it isn't necessary Maia. But she'll find out eventually. She's very worried about you. You sit and soak in the tub and think about what I just said. I will be back In a little while. I'll get Rini to loan you some of her old clothes for you to wear." The queen reassured. Serenity got up and left her bedroom. Walking down the hall, she heard Rini and Gemnei talking in Rini's room.
"Rini could you get some of your old clothes for Maia to borrow. Hers are wet, and she will be spending the night with us." Serenity called out softly.
"Alright mother. Why are Maia's clothes wet." Rini asked as she got off her bed and approached her mother, who was standing at the door."
"I'll explain later. Right now, I need to attend to a certain matter, that just may help the situation." Serenity informed her daughter, and headed down the hallway.
As she entered to family office, she noticed her husband working intently at his desk. She smiled at him as she went to her desk and sat down. Finding the phone number she needed, she quickly dialed it and waited for the person to pick up their phone.
"Yes, Doctor Yamito, this is Queen Serenity. Never mind the blabbering, (rolling her eyes at her husband, who chuckled quietly) I need to talk to you about an important matter."
"Yes your majesty, what is it?" Doctor Yamito asked quickly.
"It has come to my attention that you are spending far too much time at the golf course, when you should be at the hospital, doing your job. As a result, doctor Mizuno is seriously overworked. This is going to stop immediately. As of right now, she will be going on a well deserved two week vacation and you will be taking her place. If I hear of any further negligence on your part you will be immediately be fired. Am I clear on this doctor.
"Yes your majesty." Doctor Yamito quickly replied.
"Good. I bid you good night." Serenity replied sternly and hung up. She sighed and stood up.
"I love it when you get demanding Usako." Endymion purred playfully.
"Oh stop it Tuxy." Serenity chided playfully. Right now I believe I have a very troubled child to help upstairs. I better go and see to her." Serenity walked out into the hallway, where she met Rini and Genmei coming down
"Mother, what's the matter with Maia? I couldn't but notice the sullen look on her face when I put my clothes on your bed. She seems so upset about something." Rini asked, very concern.
"Well girls, I'm not entirely sure, but I think failing another test is just part of her problem. Can either of you tell me if Maia may have any reason to feel neglected or unwanted, for any reason?" Serenity asked.
"Well, I think I've noticed that Jordan and some of the other children haven't been playing with Maia lately. That could be why she's seems to be so sad lately." Genmei spoke up.
"I see. Thank you." With that Serenity walked up the stairs and into room and saw Maia pulling on one of Rini's old t-shirts. Maia saw her mentor approaching her, and simply looked away. The queen sighed and simply picked Maia up and took her over to the rocker in the corner of the room. She sat down, placing the little girl in her lap.
"I know you are not like your parents or sister Maia. You are a smart girl; so why are you not doing so well in science?" Serenity asked calmly.
"I just don't understand it aunt Serenity. I've tried to do my best, but I might as well be staring at blank pages. I guess mom should get rid of me." Maia mumbled the last part. This comment shocked the woman and she looked down at the little girl in her lap.
"You are not stupid Maia. There must be a reason why you are not understanding science. And we will all work together to try and find that reason." Serenity proclaimed firmly. With a sigh, Serenity started to rock and it didn't take long for Maia to fall asleep against her mentor.
After quietly walking into the guest bedroom and tucking Maia into bed, Serenity quietly shut the door. She turned around just to find her husband standing behind her; scaring her half to death.
"Endymion, you scared me!" Serenity snapped quietly, as not to wake Maia.
"Sorry dear. I just came up to see how you were making out with our little charge." Endymion answered quietly with a chuckle.
"I think we have a very troubled little girl in there. I fear for her future if something isn't done soon. I believe I need to talk to the others over supper; which we should be heading to right now." Serenity replied as she looked at her watch.
As Ariel showered and changed, Ami had told Greg what had happened while she made a cup of hot chocolate for each of them. They had just sat down in the livingroom when Ariel came out of the bathroom, combing out her hair. As her daughter sat down, Ami noticed the fading red mark on Ariel's face and gently touched it.
"What happened to your face Ariel." Ami replied.
"Mom, it's no big deal. It will be gone in the morning." Ariel objected.
"Ariel, I want to know." Ami demanded.
Well, when I found Maia, she was in a rundown playground, muttering to herself, and crying her eyes out. When I tried to call her immouto for a second time, she slapped me hard." Ariel relayed.
"Maia knows she is not to hit others, unless she is defending herself." Ami stated crossly.
"Mom, I told her that I probably deserved a lot more of them for the way I treated her when we were kids. Please don't punish Maia for this, I deserved this." Ariel pleaded for her sister. That was the least she could do for her little sister.
"Alright Ariel. But if she does it again, Mari will be punished." Greg spoke up. "Did you find out why Maia took off like she did?"
"Yes I did, and it frightens me." Ariel stated as her eyes misted over. Ami and Greg looked at each and waited for Ariel to continue. "After the slap, Maia told me to just go home to mommy and daddy to my perfect life and perfect family; and to forget she ever existed. That she was the useless part that never worked. Maia said that we were acting and speaking the exact opposite of what we have been for the past nine years."
Needless to say, Ami and Greg were shocked to hear what their youngest daughter was feeling. What they heard next, they definitely were not expecting.
"That's not all mom, dad. Maia asked why she was ever born." Ariel ended her tale, tears starting to trail down her cheeks.
"I can't believe I've made her feel so unloved, unwanted. How could I be so blind!" Ami moaned.
"We are all to blame Ami. We forgot that Maia didn't inherit our i.q. levels. I think she probably feels stupid and out of place because we forgot that fact." Greg replied, trying to comfort his family." Greg stated.
"You're right. I just wonder if Serenity has been able to find out something. We should talk to her tonight. Speaking of which, I believe we should get ready and meet the other there." Ami replied as she stood up from the couch and headed for the bathroom.
It wasn't long before they were headed for the dining hall, and found everyone already there. When the queen saw them enter the room, she met them near the table, with Lita and Rei.
"Please tell me you've found out why Maia is failing science Serenity." Ami pleaded.
"She told me that just doesn't understand science. It's like she's staring at blank pages. Maia said that she's just a stupid kid and that you and Greg should just give her away. And Rini told me that none of the other kids are playing with her. I guess she is feeling pretty left out and lonely." Serenity informed.
"Oh Kami! I didn't realize how much my little girl is going through! How could I not see this?!" Ami lamented, leaning into Greg.
"None of us noticed how Maia was feeling mom. We never paid much attention to her; other than make her feel inadequate."
"We'll all help you and Maia get these problems solved Ami, Greg. She is a member of this family. Where is Maia is anyways?" Lita asked as she looked around.
"She's in my quarters sleeping at the moment. She was quite tired after our talk. I thought it best to leave her. One of the maids will take a meal up to her later." Serenity replied as she approached her place at the table. The others did the same.
Over dinner, everyone agreed to help the Mizuno family with Maia. Even the children agreed to try and play more with the little girl.
The next morning, Maia opened her eyes to the bright sunshine streaming in through the bedroom window. For a moment, she forgot where she was until the events of yesterday afternoon came crashing back to her fuzzy mind.
"Oh, this is going to be a wonderful day. I'm dead when mom comes to get me. At least I made up with Ariel before my death sentence." Mari moaned
as she sat up and rubbed her eyes.
She went into the small washroom and quickly washed and got herself dressed. Quietly looking into the hallway, she saw no one there and quickly and quietly rushed downstairs and out into the back garden. The way her stomach was flip flopping, she wasn't at all hungry. Ami was knocking at the doors of the the king and queen's chambers, just as Maia made it to the treehouse the kids always used. She needed time to think and collect herself before her parents found her.
"Maia's not anywhere upstairs Ami." Serenity called down, becoming concerned for the little girl.
"I didn't see her anywhere in the corridor. It would have been hard for her to have sneaked by me there." Ami answered as Serenity came down and stood beside her friend.
"Well, let's check the rest of the my quarters before we start to panic. Maia couldn't have gone too far." Serenity reassured. After a quick search which included Rini, Genmei and Endymion.
"Wait, if I was a young child and thought I was in a world of trouble, I think I would try and hide some where I thought grown ups wouldn't find me." Endymion stated as the three adults stepped out onto the veranda.
"And that would be...the treehouse." Endymion stated, looking over in that direction. Sure enough when Ami looked over, she saw Maia walk past the window. She excused herself and quickly walked over to the treehouse where her daughter was secretly watching her approach.
"Maia, I would like to talk to you sweetheart. We need to talk about some things." Ami called up. There was no answer. "Maia, please, I know you're up there and I'm not mad at you." There still was no answer.
Ami sighed and quickly climbed the ladder. Noticing the door move, she knew Maia was holding the door closed. With a few quick movements, she stepped through the window; much to the surprise of Maia who jumped back back out of her mother's reach. The little girl felt her temper start rise and couldn't stop it.
"I know what you're going to say. How wrong and stupid I am and how perfect you and dad are. Or is it that your just going to tell me things you should have been said all along. Why don't you just get rid of me." Maia screamed. Ami sat there and let Maia get all her anger out, as she had done with Ariel when her eldest had her temper tantrum.
"Maia, you're not stupid. Your father and I love you very much. We forgot that you do not have our i.q. Levels. And we don't want to get rid of you. I'm sorry if we made you feel stupid and unwanted. We'll all work together to make things better. And, Maia, I'm sorry for yelling at you yesterday, I had no right to let my bad day out on you." Ami confessed, tears welling up in her eyes.
Maia was surprised to see tears in her mother's eyes. Since when did she cry?!?! At the moment, she felt very confused. Mari needed to ask one question that was kind of nagging at her.
"Why do you hate art so much, mom? You use it in your psychiatry practices." Maia asked cautiously.
"I don't Maia. And you are right, I do use pictures in my practice. I also forgot that my father was an artist, and painted very beautiful pictures. I was wrong to stop you from working on your pictures." Ami admitted.
That's what Maia had wanted to hear from her mother; just to be loved and accepted by her. And almost against her will, she found herself throwing herself in her mother's arms.
"I love you baby. And I'll always want you. Aunt Serenity told me about how you don't understand science. We can work things out so you will pass." Ami whispered into her daughter's ear. Maia clung Ami as her mother climbed down the ladder.
Serenity, Endymion and Greg came running over as Ami and Maia, still in her mother's arms, as they approached the veranda.
"I love you sweetheart. And I'm sorry for all the misery your mother and I caused you." Greg replied, stroking his daughter's hair.
"Ami, I think I've heard of a few teaching programs, they had back in the 20th century. It might take a couple of days, but I think we might be able to get a hold of them." Serenity explained. "And before I forget, I have arranged for you to have two weeks of vacation time. You have certain earned it, and you need to spend some time with the girls and have some fun. And no arguments."
"Thank you, Serenity." Ami replied gratefully. Ami had to admit that she felt the need for a vacation, and really needed time to spend with her daughters, especially Maia.
Within the week, a young teacher was found to tutor Maia. The young woman had a wonderful sense of humor and often included that in her teaching methods. With Michiru's help, they had Mari paint some pictures to help her understand some things she was learning in science. It was along before Maia began to understand science a little better and began to get a C+ average.
In the meantime; Ami, Greg and Ariel made time to play with Maia, playing tag, hide and go seek and other such games. There had been one occasion where both Ariel and Maia had to be hosed down outside. Ariel had caught Ariel, in a game of tag; resulting in both of them slipping in falling in a mud puddle. Needless to say, this made everyone laugh, and glad to see that t he two were finally being sisters.