The first Queen Serenity, her namesake. Everything about her radiated purity, from her silver-spun hair to the austere white of her gown. Untouchable, beyond reproach, benevolence personified.
And yet, Serenity II, Neo-Queen of Crystal Tokyo, mused as she gazed unseeing out her bedroom windows. There was a cruelty about her mother, a cruelty through inaction. The Benevolent One was content to keep three of her daughter’s Guardians separate and alone in the name of duty, content to keep the youngest and most powerful of the Guardians locked away for fear of being unable to control her. Serenity, hailed for her wisdom and foresight, failed to stop the deaths of her beloved daughter and kingdom—for she must have known, else why did she seem so sorrowful in all of Serenity II’s memories, few as they were?
How could you, Mother? She wanted to accuse. You could have stopped our deaths; the Silver Crystal has fought off much stronger than Beryl under my command so I know it’s true!
The Silver Crystal. Source of each Moon Queen’s power, the ability to wield it what gave those of Serenity’s line the authority to rule; a jewel of unlimited power unrivaled (and coveted) in the galaxies. Serenity turned her attention to the Crystal in her hand.
“Not truly unlimited though, are you?” No; the secret to the Silver Crystal’s power was that it depended entirely on the will of its wielder. Its shape was the key; Serenity, as Sailor Moon, had seen her Crystal shift from a solid oblong diamond teardrop to its current state, a fully bloomed lotus flower. Her mother’s Crystal, in Serenity’s memory, was still sphere-shaped on that final day. Merely adding to her suspicions about her mother’s motives for letting the tragic events come to pass.
A knock interrupted Serenity’s thoughts. “Enter,” she called out, and the door opened to reveal her least-seen Guardian wearing an enigmatic smile.
“I felt your distress, Majesty, and wanted to see if I could help.” Saturn moved further into the room, every inch the Mistress of Death in a beautifully cut gown of flowing violet silk. Her Glaive was nowhere to be seen, likely tucked in a pocket of subspace. Serenity mustered a smile of her own before sighing.
“I’m afraid you find me in a melancholy mood, Saturn. Unfortunately I can’t blame it all on Small Lady,” she said ruefully, hand going to her slightly distended abdomen. Her unborn daughter made no response; it was too early yet for that sort of activity from the baby. Saturn gave a light, tinkling laugh, taking a seat next to the monarch.
“Ah, but Small Lady is related to your musings. You’re wondering about names.” Saturn laughed again at seeing Serenity’s surprised expression. “You forget, Majesty. I have felled different versions of this future, where the Dark Moon or stronger enemies were successful. In some of them you named the Princess differently.” This was news to Serenity, but then Pluto and Saturn’s powers, of all her Guardians, were the most mysterious.
“Are you allowed to tell me the names I chose?”
“The obvious ones, Celeste and Selene, Isla, Neoma. Then names synonymous to Serenity: Concordia, Irena. Least often, names related to what Small Lady represents: Hope, Felicity.” Saturn held up a hand before Serenity could interject. “And no, I can’t tell you how those futures end.”
Serenity pouted. Damn her Guardian’s omnipotence. She tried a different tactic.
“Would it be so bad? If I gave Small Lady a name wholly her own, unburdened with the history of her foremothers?” Her mien was troubled still, and Saturn’s heart went out to the still-young Queen. Silently Saturn cursed the first White Moon Queen again for the pain she inadvertently caused her heir. Choosing her words carefully, Saturn answered.
“Whatever you name her, Majesty, she will always be linked to Silver Millennium simply by being your daughter.” Serenity bowed her head in defeat. Her hands went again to the bump at her middle.
“Then I apologize to you, my sweet daughter. Because I am so selfish as to want you in the world that I would burden you with my name and all that comes with it.”
“Some things are set in every version of her timeline, like becoming Dark Lady. That is Small Lady’s crisis, just as yours was seeing Silver Millennium fall.” Saturn reached over to clasp one of Serenity’s hands. “But Small Lady will have what you did not, Majesty: a mother able to guide her in facing those hard times.”
Saturn squeezed. “You do not fail this Serenity as your mother did you.”
Therein was the heart of the matter. Saturn’s words released the pain and anger and worry in Serenity’s heart and she wept, wailing and sobbing into her Guardian’s shoulders. When at last her tears were spent, Saturn kissed the crescent moon on her Queen’s forehead.
“Better?” Serenity laughed wetly, swiping at her eyes.
“I’d like to blame the pregnancy hormones, but...”
“Never apologize for your feelings, Majesty. They are your greatest power.” Saturn stood, still holding Serenity’s hand.
“Now come, I believe Jupiter planned to whip up some of your favourite desserts as a treat.” She turned to leave, but Serenity’s next words gave her pause.
“Of everyone, you suffered most from my mother’s negligence. But you still deign to serve me, to serve Serenity’s line.” Sapphire blue eyes met violet. “Thank you, Saturn.”
Saturn gazed at the monarch, taken aback. A smile bloomed slowly across her features.
“If you were anything less than you are, Serenity, I would have turned my back on the White Moon the moment my Glaive ended Silver Millennium.” She pulled the monarch fully to her feet and tucked an arm into the crook of her elbow. Together Neo-Queen and Guardian stepped out into the corridor, but not before Saturn said, quietly,
“Small Lady could not want for a better mother or role model. After all, who better than the Champion of Love and Justice?”
Serenity’s answering grin was radiant.