Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Sailor Moon.

"Highness! Your Highness!"

Serena remained sitting cross-legged on her bed, facing the rising sun clad in her night garments. She closed her eyes and breathed deeply.

In. Out. In. Out. In. Out.

"Your highness, we must assist you in your preparation. The T'vian King will be arriving in several hours. You must look your best!" Luna, her nurse-maid, pleaded.

Serena opened her mouth, wanting to let them enter but the words would not come. As Crown Princess of Aineas, and heir to the throne, this was her lot in life. She was prepared and willing to do this for her country, her people and her mother.

Queen Siana was a wise and just ruler. Aineas had flourished under her rule as it had under no other monarch. Serena's father, the Royal Consort, had died protecting the peace that had come to Aineas under the rule of Serena's grandfather. That peace would always come at a price.

Serena swallowed thickly, her mind racing with time in a race it would never win. Her mother was dying, albeit slowly. War was on the horizon. This union would bring about an alliance that couldn't ensure victory but it would secure an advantage. Time was of the essence. She cleared her throat, hoping she wouldn't sound hoarse.

"Come in, Luna. I'm ready." Her voice was weak but steady.

The door opened and Luna rushed towards her. Luna looked her over critically and Serena knew she would not miss the evidence of tears cried. Nor would she miss the fear Serena tried to hide regarding the role that was now hers to fill. Luna took her hands and pulled her into her familiar embrace. Serena breathed Luna's scent in and willed herself not to cry. The time for tears was over. After a long moment, she sat back and collected herself.

"Draw my bath and make the necessary preparations. I will greet the T'vian King in the traditional Ainean dress and custom. We will be welcoming but he will know who we are," she made sure her tone was gentle, yet firm. Serena was well aware she was not the only one feeling the stress of the upcoming joining.

Her maidservants beamed at her, their faces tired and a little grim, but determined. They immediately set out to do her bidding, leaving her with Luna, who continued to watch Serena expectantly.

"He will know who I am," she murmured, her attention going to the sun now bathing her room in a myriad of dawn colours.

AN: So, for this AU...I will be going across the board with this one. Mind you, I'm horrible with how royalty works so I'm making my own up as I go along.

Please enjoy and review!