Disclaimer: Sailor Moon slipped from my fingers a long time ago. So long ago, I can't remember it.

Note: This is NOT Usagi/Rei slash. It is a UM fic.

Thank you to last chapter's reviewers: sakanascales876, Piper Chris Melinda Halliwell, CharmedSerenity3, Ashgeliton, PriestessHelene, snoopykid, artstarcarolaina, and mae-E.

Merry Christmas, Small Lady
A short story for the holidays, by AngelMoon Girl.

PART 3

"Dear me, this has been quite a flop," Jupiter sighed, watching as Small Lady ignored her third present in favor of the colorful paper it had been wrapped in. She was giggling while waving said paper, intrigued by the sparkles created when sunlight hit the sheet.

"We would have saved so much money by simply supplying Small Lady with a litre of wrapping paper," Venus added sagely, only to be corrected by exasperated Mercury,

"Litres are usually used to measure liquid. I think the appropriate term here would be 'ream', Venus."

"So says the girl who gave Small Lady an abacus," Venus proclaimed, rolling her eyes. "Honestly, do you think a baby is going to find an abacus to be a helpful tool?"

"Why yes, I do," Mercury answered rather snootily, but there was a playful smirk tugging at the corners of her mouth. "For now, Small Lady does not need the abacus to be a calculating instrument- merely a toy that will, eventually, teach her to count and recognize colors."

Venus coughed something that sounded an awful lot like "Dull!" before turning to Serenity. "Well, it looks like Mars is playing Scrooge again this year... that, or she forgot to buy presents-"

"Maybe she's doing her shopping at the last minute?" Mercury cut in, trying to assuage their ill-founded fears and maintain a positive reputation for the priestess. "The, er, very last minute?" It wasn't as though the Fire Senshi neglected every Christmas... well, not for a few years, at least... And it only happened once! Well, and then there was that time back in 2054-

"Sorry I'm late, guys!" exclaimed the panting Sailor Mars as she burst through the double doors, practically falling into the ballroom. Neo-Queen Serenity giggled from her perch beside the large Christmas tree.

"Typical entrance," the blonde intoned. "An attempt to be fashionable, failed."

"I wouldn't talk, Your Majesty," the raven-haired warrior sniffed, still lingering near the doorway with a hand touching the handle. "I can't tell you the countless meetings I've attended where you've stumbled across the threshold halfway through, claiming a faulty alarm. But that's not the point." Here, Mars beamed. "My present took a little while to work out, but Serenity... Small Lady... here you are. A Christmas miracle!"

She flung open the double doors, and every Inner gasped. Serenity simply stared, transfixed.

"Papa!" Small Lady screeched, dropping her shiny paper to scamper on all fours over to the man framed in the entrance. Mars smiled at the vision of Serenity, flabbergasted on the floor. Her throat tightened up at the sight of the Queen blinking back tears.

"What... how...?"

"Are you going to sit there and stare at me the whole day, or am I going to get a kiss from my wife?" King Endymion laughed jovially, Small Lady chattering away excitedly on his hip. Serenity choked what may have been a response, although it came out sounding more like a sob. She staggered up, closing the distance between them to land- no, crumble- into Endymion's arms.

"I've missed you so much," the Neo-Queen whimpered into her husband's chest, hardly daring to believe his presence. "Are you real?"

"Thanks to Mars," the King chuckled, winking at the aforementioned priestess, who was futilely stifling tears. "This was all her idea. I'm not sure how she convinced the Charleportian Assembly, but our meetings have been delayed until the twenty-seventh. We have two whole days to celebrate the holidays as a family, love."

"Oh, I'm so happy!" Serenity sobbed, pulling free of Endymion to capture Mars in an embrace. "Mars, oh Mars... thank you! Thank you for bringing my husband home! I couldn't have wished for a better gift for Small Lady and I."

"It was the least I could do," the girl replied softly, nuzzling Her Majesty's forehead with her own and thinking back on the umpteen hours of phone calls, bartering, and political persuasion that occurred well into the night. Her own fatigue seemed risible when eclipsed by the overwhelming joy emanating like waves off her best friend. "Merry Christmas, Serenity."

Small Lady shrieked, clapping her chubby hands together loudly as if reminding them all that she didn't like being ignored. Mars laughed, swiping at her eyes and reaching for her goddaughter. Small Lady responded efficaciously, leaning forward so the Fire Senshi could tug her from Endymion for a hug. "And a very Merry Christmas to you too, Small Lady! You enjoy your Papa today, okay?"

"Papa," the young Princess chirped, gracing the woman with an adorable grin that showcased two burgeoning teeth. "Maws Papa." And the baby laid her pink head on Mars' shoulder, as if thanking the soldier for this Christmas miracle.

THE END


A/N: I eagerly await all your lovely reviews!

AngelMoon Girl