Hello all, Ria here! This is my first stab at posting a multi-chapter story, so I'm going to be selfish as ask for reviews. puts on puppy dog eyes Pretty please? I'm pretty hard on myself when it comes to my work, so anything would be great, even critiques! Thanks for reading!

It was a hard road she walked. It was bumpy, and untended, with large potholes and rocks to trip over. At least, that was the way 17 year old Tsukino Usagi saw it. Plenty of places to stumble over, plenty of ways to fall hard. Oh, and it isn't straight either, she thought dully as she trudged through the park. Too many hills. Why can't anything be easy?

It really was a beautiful spring day, without a cloud in the sky, not that she noticed. She was too drawn into herself. She had come to a point in her life where she had to wonder if all of this was worth it. All the fighting, all the lies…

But I have to lie, as much as I hate it. And as much as I complain, I don't really want any of this to change. Usagi sighed as she sank down onto a bench. She used to think Fate was playing some sort of trick on her when a black cat suddenly started speaking to her, telling her she was a Sailor Senshi, just like her idol, Sailor V. How could Fate think to pick a clumsy 14 year old girl to uphold justice against the forces of evil when she couldn't even pass a stupid math test? But she did, and while she wasn't the most adept at it, no one ever got hurt, except for herself. And things were going well, that is until her savior Tuxedo Kamen dropped a certain star shaped locket during a battle. That's when everything changed.

Changed for me, not everyone else. Usagi pulled her legs up onto the bench and rested her chin on them, smiling slightly as she watched a little boy and his father playing Frisbee. The moment she had touched the locket, everything had flooded back to her so forcefully she had staggered back a step. The Princess they were all trying so hard to find and protect, was her. Her, Usagi, the biggest klutz on the face of the planet, was this pure and perfect being that meant so much to everyone. And Mamoru, the man she loved to hate, and hated to love, was her Prince. The Prince she loved so much she had killed herself instead of living without him. That, and he was Tuxedo Kamen.

Looking at him hurt so much right then. I wanted to run into his arms and tell him everything, let him take all the confusion and pain away. But I couldn't. So instead I just smiled sadly at him and gave back the locket. He had tried to refuse, but she had just told him "You keep it. Your Princess gave this to you, and I'm sure she would want you to keep it close to you, so you could always remember her." Both he and the Senshi had given her the strangest of looks as she had turned and walked away.

She had wanted to tell them all, but inside, she knew she couldn't. They would see her as something other than what she was. She was Serenity then, but she was Usagi now. She wasn't graceful and eloquent. She didn't want any of them to stick by her just as a sense of duty, especially Mamoru. She wanted him to love her for her, not based on his memories as Endymion. It would have all been a lie. But she couldn't deny that a small part of herself wanted to tell them, to put them all in their places for every snide remark they had made, or every time they had ever doubted her.

The Princess hadn't appeared when the seven crystals were gathered, because she hadn't wanted to. And being attuned to her wishes, the Silver Crystal hadn't revealed her true form, instead burrowing itself into her transformation brooch. Usagi shook her head as she remembered that day. Mars had been so mad.

"Well, where is she?" She had seethed, crossing her arms over her chest and glowering. "We go through the trouble of gathering all the crystals, and the Princess doesn't even have the decency to show herself?"

Jupiter had glared at her gall, and Venus looked confused. "Did we do something wrong? I mean, the crystal formed, but it wasn't quite as dramatic as I thought it would be."

"Nothing went wrong," Mercury had assured her, typing quickly on her small computer. "The Silver Crystal has appeared, but it is still dormant. I believe that when the time is right, it, and the Princess, will awaken."

Mars' mouth dropped, her anger building so much that electricity was gathering around her. "What more are we supposed to do?" She raged, pacing in front of them. "We have risked out lives on a daily basis for this task, and it's like she suddenly doesn't want to awaken!"

Sailor Moon had watched their reactions carefully. Everyone but Mars had taken it with a grain of salt. Mercury's findings were enough for them to be content for a time. But it hadn't really been a surprise that Mars had reacted the way she did. One thousand years had done nothing to diminish her short temper.

"Have you ever thought that maybe you're right?" she had asked Mars quietly.

The Senshi of fire stopped her pacing and glared at her. "What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

Sailor Moon shrugged. "If I were her, I wouldn't appear either with you raging around here like a chicken with it's head cut off. Maybe none of us are ready for her to emerge. It would be too much of a shock."

She felt Tuxedo Kamen's gaze weigh heavily on her. She realized she should shut up before that genius mind of his started putting two and two together. So, the business of the day concluded, she left, Mars screeching after her.