A small girl with white-blonde hair done in miniature odangos slipped into a huge throne room, her blue eyes searching for one person, a tallish woman with long white hair. Finally she spotted her, at the far end of the room. She took off running, her slippered feet making little noise against the crystal floor.
Suddenly she was lifted up in the air and deposited on someone's shoulder. She looked down and smiled at Odujin, the captain of her mother's guard and her own surrogate uncle, since her father's death earlier that year. "Your Mama's busy, little one," he whispered to her.
"I just wanted to talk to her. I haven't seen her all day," she sniffled. Her already big eyes grew even larger as she took in the people her mother were talking to: a short man with spiky black hair and a woman with bluish-green hair. "Who are they, Odujin-san?"
"The king and queen of another planet." Odujin seem a bit distracted so she forced herself to pay closer attention, despite the larger words she didn't quite understand; she could always ask Princess Mercury later.
"This alliance was my husband's idea," her mother was saying, "but I can't deny it's something we both need. She'll have to marry someone to help her rule anyway, as well as keep the peace between the planets."
"So it's agreed then?" the blue-green haired woman asked. Queen Serenity nodded slightly. "Great! Why don't we introduce them as soon as Gohan gets back with Trunks?"
As if on cue, a boy in his early teens came running in the hall. "I can't find him!" he explained between gasps.
The hall erupted into chaos, and Princess Serenity used this as an opportunity to slip down and away from Odujin and run up to her mother, tugging at her long dress's skirt to get her attention. The Moon Queen looked down at her young daughter and smiled, picking her up and placing her on her hip. "What are you doing in here, little one?" she asked in that sweet voice she reserved for her daughter.
"I was looking for you, Mama. I can find him for you!"
"Do you think so?" She nodded excitedly. Her mother smiled and set her back down on her feet on the floor. "Then go find him."
"Hai!" Serenity mock-saluted her mother, making her smile even more, and ran out of the hall through the side garden exit.
Unsurprisingly, it did not take her long to locate the missing boy. Even at her age, she knew these palace grounds better than a lot of the grown-ups did. And once she got to the garden, where no one else was searching yet, she'd located him in a few seconds; he was the only other child there, and he looked rather sullen. She put on her biggest smile and greeted him with a rather chipper, "Ohayoo!"
He started, really almost jumping out of his skin, before the unhappy look quickly returned, and he grumbled something along the lines of, "Go away."
She cleared her throat and said in a louder but still cheerful voice, "Ohayoo!"
"Ohayoo!" he all but shouted back. "Now go away!"
"Would you like to play with me?"
He glanced over his shoulder, momentarily abandoning his careful vigil around the corner of the castle, apparently for someone trying to find him, to look at her with a bit of confusion on his face. "You don't give up, do you?"
"Never! Will you play with me?"
"If I say 'no,' how long will you keep this up?"
"Till you say 'yes'," she answered easily. "I'm S'renity. What's your name?"
She grabbed his hand and shook it once firmly. "Pleased to meet you, Trunks-kun." She tried to pull him after her and found it impossible to move him. "Come play with me, Trunks-kun!"
She immediately quit trying to pull him, although she didn't release his hand, and immediately started pouting. "Why not?" she demanded.
"Because I don't want to marry some stupid princess, okay?!?"
She froze then let go of his hand, hanging her head. "Okay. I'll go play alone then. I won't tell anyone where you are. Ja, Trunks."
She'd turned around and started walking away when he caught her hand and pulled her along behind him. "What do you want to play, Renity?"
She smiled brilliantly at him. "Hide and seek."
He almost hated to admit it, but this girl, Renity, was actually kind of fun, even if she did have this annoying habit of latching onto him every time he found her, which admittedly wasn't that often. He hadn't played many times and she apparently knew this garden inside out. She'd admitted that she was usually the one no one ever found; she rarely let them.
He turned another corner in the garden and there stood not Renity but his mother. "Trunks. . ." Oh yeah, she was mad.
Someone tapped his shoulder and yelled, "Tag!" Renity had nearly scared him to death again, he thought to himself, trying to pretend, of course, that she hadn't. She walked right up to his mother, a tremulous expression on her face - and started lying. "Gomen ne, oujosan. I didn't know you were looking for him. He's been out here playing with me. Please don't be mad at him."
Even his mother couldn't stand long before Renity; she melted fairly quickly. "It's okay, little one. I'm not mad, just -"
"There you are, little one," a very tall man with very long red hair interrupted. He was wearing a guard's uniform like the soldiers in the Palace had been. "Your mother's getting worried about you."
His own mother smiled brilliantly down at the little girl now. "So you're Princess Serenity," she stated.
Renity - Serenity - started to say something when he just spit out the first thing that came into his mind. "Liar!"
"Are too! You lied to me! You didn't tell me you're that stupid princess I'm supposed to marry!"
She opened her mouth to say something. Instead, tears filled her eyes, and she turned and ran away. Odujin cast him a harsh look and followed her.
The remainder of his short stay on the Moon, he and the princess were holy terrors on each other. He'd pull her hair; she'd pull his tail. The one time he managed to cut off a bit of her hair, she pulled his tail and gave him a black eye; his father had laughed at him for weeks with that one. There were times when the more level-headed Endymion and Gohan had had to pull them apart. When they left to go home, she blew him a raspberry while her mother's back was turned.
When threats of revolution began to circulate on Vegitasei two years later and his father sent him and his mother to her home planet of Chikyuu, they'd made a brief stopover on the Moon. The princess didn't even come out to see them until they were about to leave. She looked him up and down and pronounced simply, "Well, you're still as ugly as I remembered."
That was the last time they saw each other for eight years.
Two young adults, one a teenager, one just a bit older, jumped awake, covered in sweat. Almost in one voice, despite the great vast distances of time and space separating them, they both whispered, "What was that?"
Neither received an answer, only another dream.
::End Chapter One::
14 November 2000
Hope you're all enjoying this. It's good to be back writing. I'm such a happy person now. Thank you, Lady Kat!