Knowing you: Interludes- Ishtar

A small blonde about the age of three stood playing with her dress, her name is Serenity and she is the only daughter of Queen Serenity of the Moon. The Princess more commonly addressed as Serena to make things less confusing. Today she was to meet the other Princess' for the first time. First to arrive was Venus' Princess and cousin to Serena, "Announcing Queen Aphrodite and Princess Ishtar Aphrodite of Venus."

Ishtar and Serena could have been twins both with golden blond hair, although in different styles, and blue eyes, although upon closer inspection the eyes were different shades. Serena was born in June while Ishtar was born in October, both girls shared a strong bond. Ishtar held her hair back by a red ribbon given to her by her father before he died the previous year letting half of the hair hang free. Serena wore her hair in the style of Selene, two buns with tails hanging from them.

As Ishtar was daugher of Queen Aphrodite who was sisters with Serenity this was not the first time they had met, however they today was different. "Cousin, I have decided you need a nickname like me. We have so much in common why not that we both have nicknames," Serena said hugging her cousin.

"What should my nickname be, Princess?"

"First off, don't call me Princess'! Aphrodite!" Like on the moon the Queens of Venus all adopted if not birth named Aphrodite. "I was thinking about it and even had mama read me some books and came up with Eros'. It is short and cute and has venisian heritage."

The blonde Venisian Princess thought for a minute before agreeing with her cousin, "It is perfect!"

"Girls, the other Princess' are here." Their mothers chide the two blond princess'. Serena smiled at Eros as the next ship docked.

"Announcing Queen Athena and Princess Maia Athena of Mercury." Mercury also adopted the protocol that the Queen should have the same name. A timid two and a half year old stepped out from behind her mother's blue dress and curtsied. Maia was said that she would become like her mother confidently quiet, but at two it was hard to say.

Serena and Eros smiled, "Pleased to meet you Maia. I am Serena and this is Eros." The two old girls said holding out their hands for the younger girl to join them.

Athena smiled, all the Queens had been child hood friends as would their daughters. After Athena took her spot next to Aphrodite the next ship docked and the herald announced the next arrival. "Announcing Queen Deimos, and Princess Harmonia of Mars." Harmonia was taller than the two blond princess' with long raven hair. She was said to have a fiery temper and a beautiful singing voice, but also very bossy.

"A pleasure to be invited to your Kingdom, Majesties." Harmonia said very properly. Her father was Aries and like his namesake was strict and demanded the best from his. His daughter was said to have violet eyes of Skuld to see the future or some believed your death.

"The pleasure is ours to be in your presence, mystical Princess." Serena said. "I humbly invite you to join my court."

Harmonia smiled, "It would be my honor Heir of Selene, Serenity."

"Please let us be done with formalities, call me Serena and this Eros and Maia," Serena said giving the newest arrival a hug.

"Quiet down, girls. The last inner Princess is about to arrive," Serenity chide.

"Announcing Princess Iris of Jupiter."

"Mama, why is she alone?" asked Serena.

"Shh, her mother recently passed to the godess." Serena looked sadly at this brave child of four.

"Welcome to the court, Princess Iris. I would like you to call me Serena, this is my cousin Eros of Venus, Maia of Mercury, and Harmonia of Mars." Serena introduced. Before turning to her mother, "I shall show my court around." With a nod of approval from the Queen the children took hands and ran off to play.

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"Oh, those were the good old days. Back before duty tore us apart." Eros was alone. She had asked Setsuna to allow her to visit some old memories, so here she sat watching her memories in a mirror of time.

The next memory was of them at the age of eight or nine just before they became senshi. Eros smiled as her cousin came into view and rolled down the hill soon followed by her at that time ever present companions

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Serena smiled up at the Earth which hung high in the sky, "Why do we not have a representative of Earth in the court?" Serena asked no one in particular, although most of her questions were always answered by the young blue haired princess of Mercury.

"Earth refused entry into the alliance back when your Great Grandfather last offered it. Before then it was said they were not advanced enough. It almost started a war." Maia explained.

"But they are our closest neighbor and oh how I would like to visit there." Serena said dreamily.

"But it is forbidden for a lunarian to step foot on the planet for many reasons."

"But Harmony they are kin to you are they not?" Serena asked using Harmonia's nickname.

"They are, but even our contact is limited because of the threat to the alliance. My cousin Endymion writes me constantly though, rumor of a "moon angel" has reached earth and he wishes to know if it is true." This perked everyones ears.

"And what did you say in response?" Iris probed.

"That he would have to come and find out." Harmonia laughed, but her laughter was interupted.

"And so I have." The group turned to find five young men just entering their teens before them. "Well, cousin are you not going to introduce us?"

Harmonia studdard a little in shock, "Cousin Endymion, Crown Prince of Terra. This is an honor for you to join us on Luna, allow me to introduce..." She paused giving her friends time to get to their feet and dust themselves off. "Princess Maia of Mercury, don't let her youth fool you for she is smarter that her father they say. Princess Iris of Jupiter, said to be able to stand up against her father King Zeus in a sparing match. Princess Ishtar of Venus, said to be the envy of the universe... second only to her cousin the crown Princess of Luna, heir of Selene, Princess Serenity."

"Generals, you already know my impertinent cousin Harmonia. Please show respect to her beautiful companions. Kunzite, leader of my shintenou; Zoisite, second in command and strategist; Nephrite, my mystic oracle; and Jadeite."

The men bowed. "The rumors are true Princess Serenity. You are a moon angel. Allow me to introduce my self I am Crown Prince of Terra and heir to the Terran throne, Prince Endymion Mamoru Chiba."

Serenity blushed and curtsied, "It is an honor, Prince Endymion, but I thought it was forbidden."

"My father has made concessions that our ancestors refused and we are now in the process of creating a treaty to join the alliance. With King Aries behind us he believes that by the time I am king we will be a member of the alliance if not before." Endymion explained.

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Eros stopped the memory. That was when Serenity first became ... some would say obsessed with Earth. Endymion and her relationship didn't help it any and some said that was what started the fall of the kingdom. Others argued that it was destiny. Sighing Eros changed to the memory she dreaded.

Before letting it start she grabbed the small moon necklace that she wore around her neck, it had been a gift from Serenity. "It gets better. She forgives you... correction she forgave you."

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Ishtar stood outside her mother's door waiting, "Ishtar enter." Obeying the command the Princess of thirteen entered the Queen's office. "Sit, we have much to discuss."

Ishtar took a seat across from her mother, "This will be difficult and I wish I could change it, but like Serenity and I," Aphrodite paused. "You will just have to accept it."

"What mother? What is going on?" Ishtar almost demanded from worry.

"Last year I gave you the responsibility of being a Senshi, a warrior, Sailor Venus. You being closely tied to the Moon and the first in the Alliance you are to be the leader of the Senshi which means that you have to stay objective. Which Serenity and I feel you aren't able to do with how close you are with Serena."

"Mother, what are you saying?"

"I am saying Ishtar that you have to stop treating Serena like a friend and start treating her as you monarch and Princess."

"Mother! You don't know what you are asking of me!" Ishtar screamed.

"I am asking you to take your duty and responsibility seriously. If you keep up that relationship it could cost Serena her life!" Aphrodite countered. "I am asking you to do what my mother asked me to do and what must be done to ensure the safety of the royal line."

Ishtar ran from the room and raced to the transporter. Within the hour the four newly assigned senshi sat on Harmonia's bed, Ishtar in tears as she tried to tell her friends what she had to do. "Mother says ... says I have to tre...treat...Sere as a Princess...not as a friend."

"Logically speaking it makes sense, but that isn't completely true."

"What do you mean, Maia?" asked Iris.

"Well, look at our mothers. They are all still close friends are they not?" The other three nodded. "All Queen Aphrodite means is until we can handle the responsibility and feelings separate we or at least our leader needs to be objective to make the hard calls.It isn't forever just for a while." Maia smiled.

"Maia is right I see us all being as close as ever in the future." Harmonia told the group.

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Eros laughed, "I wonder what you would have done if you knew what you saw was a thousand years in the future."

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"Princess Serenity, it is come to my attention that to be able to protect you properly I need to be objective. Which at this time I cannot be and still be as close as we are, please understand."

Ishtar looked up to see water in her cousin's ice blue eyes, "Eros, you can try to distance yourself from me and I from you, but we are one. Two halves and that will never change. I will always understand your responsibilities." Serena got up and approached the kneeling form of her cousin, "Take this and always remember our bond cousin."

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The chain that Serena placed on her neck that day Eros still wore and she was reminded of the bond every time Serena called her Eros. Time flew by as if the mirror was on fast forward and Eros noticed something she had not previously, "She was always there in the background."

Every shot even during training she could see Serena watching, sometimes with Endymion sometimes alone. Eros began playing "Find Serenity" - "You never left me. You were always with me in my heart." The final scene Eros watched the sword plunge into her side as she called out for her cousin.

"We could never live without you, Eros. That is why we are always together." Eros turned to see her family, the senshi and royal family all smiling at her.

"I wouldn't have it any other way."