by AP Scout
Author's Note: © 2001 This is my fourth AR/AP story. I hope you'll like it.
NOTE: All Sailor Scout related characters are copyrighted by DiC, Naoko Takeuchi, Toei Animation, and probably some other folks. Elements of this story are not suitable for those under 18.
Rini was about to flop back down onto the couch when the phone rang. Frowning a little, the preteen walked over to it and picked it up. "Hello?"
"Yeah?" Rini replied.
"It's Sam," said the girl on the other end of the line, "You need to like motor down to the arcade right now. You'll like never guess whose here."
The pink-haired girl glanced towards the guest bedroom and then up at the clock. "I'll be right there."
"But you didn't guess," Sam pointed out. The voice on the other end of the line sounded disappointed. Rini didn't really care. The preteen wanted to find out who this Sam was, not to mention getting away from little Mina. "You're like gonna majorly flip."
"Okay, I won't take too long. Bye!" Rini said and clicked off the phone. Turning, she jogged over to the closet to find her boots and coat. Yes, this would be much better. Mina could take care of herself for a little while. As she pulled on her winter clothing, Rini was trying to think who Sam could be. "I bet Missy would like to come too." She decided to give her best friend a call from the arcade.
Giving one more look towards the guest bedroom, Rini left the house, a smile on her face.
As the car pulled up in front of the Shields home, Serena couldn't help but marvel at it. The front yard sloped down to the roadway and there was a large backyard with a deck and small shed. It was definitely different from her parents' home but she had already fallen in love with it. Probably for the second time, she giggled.
"Want to come in?" she asked Lita.
"Sure Serena. Need to use the little girl's room."
Hopping out of the car, Serena got the packages she had bought, including a hefty stack of comic books "for Rini", and started up towards the house. The graying brunette followed closely behind. They had just entered the house when a tiny blond appeared before them. Mina leapt at her formerly teenage friend even before Serena could say anything. Giving a small cry, Serena dropped her packages and caught a hold of Mina.
The child pressed her face against Serena's chest and started to bawl. "What's the matter, Mina?" Serena questioned. She felt herself becoming worried. "Like, where's Rini?"
"Don't know," the little blond blubbered, "Don't care!"
"Gracious," Lita added.
"Did something happen to Rini?!" Serena demanded.
"She went 'way," Mina pouted, "'N' she spanked me."
The two women looked at each other in confusion. Serena tried to coax Mina into letting go but the child wouldn't. The older blond felt truly sorry for the little girl, although she was worried about her daughter. With Lita's help, Serena got her jacket off as well as her boots so she could move up into the living room. "Why don't you tell me all about it, Mina?" It took a couple more tries before little Mina related the entire story.
"I'm really really sorry, Mrs. Shields," Mina finally added when she saw the grimace on Serena's face. "I'll never ever do it again. Promise."
"It's not your fault, Mina," Lita comforted.
"That's right," Serena said, "Like that little sp... I mean Rini shouldn't have done what she did. You could've majorly got hurt! She was supposed to like watch you." She hugged Mina and gave her a kiss. It seemed to be the very thing the little girl needed. "Were you scared?"
"I would be too," Lita added. It was so unlike Rini to be so irresponsible. Patting the child's knee, she got up and said, "Excuse me for a minute." She then headed for the bathroom. Mina sniffled and gave Serena a weak smile.
"What if you 'n' me clean up that kitchen?"
"'Kay. I don't like Rini no more." Serena was thinking the same thing but for different reasons.
Rini Shields slunk out of the arcade, her face as pink as her hair. The blush had stretched from her hairline to somewhere below her jacket collar. Embarrassment and anger were battling with each other for dominance. As the glass doors of the arcade slid shut, she could still hear the laughter and the catcalls of her "friends". They were taking great pains to talk loud enough so that everyone could hear it.
The preteen pulled her collar up and hunched as she trudged through the now falling snow. Things had gotten off to a good start but then as the group of eleven-year-old girls chatted more and more (mostly about boys), Rini found that her body was reacting in ways her mind wasn't. She also discovered, with some distress, that while she looked older, the girls were still talking about stuff she didn't understand.
Then when Melissa, whom Rini hadn't called, showed up, things had gone from barely tolerable to absolutely horrible. Not only had she made a complete and utter fool of herself in front of her new friends but also, her typical best friend seemed to think the pink-haired older girl was trying to make fun of her.
It was the screeching of car tires beside her that drew Rini from her misery. Turning her head, she saw Darien hop out of the car. A car behind him honked angrily but he simply ignored it.
"Hi Darien!" Rini called.
"Young lady," her father growled out while jabbing a finger at her, "Get your butt into this car," his finger jabbed at the car's door, "RIGHT NOW!" The last words rolled out of he like a peel of thunder.
The preteen was so startled by the dark expression on his face, and the commanding tone in his voice, that she obeyed him without even thinking about it. It wasn't until she was sitting in the car before she even realized that Darien seemed upset at her.
The thirty-something man got into the car, slammed his door, and jerked his seatbelt on. "Seatbelt," he growled at her.
As Rini fumbled to put her seatbelt on, she had the very distinct feeling that she was in deep trouble.
Sailor Pluto frowned deeply and tapped her foot in irritation. The fact that the pink-haired princess was squandering this chance did not impress the Guardian of Time. She was sorely tempted to change things but stopped herself. "No, I'll wait and see what Serena and Darien do." Maybe they could salvage this. She'd give the Princess one more chance.
Serena sat on the couch, fuming. The fact that she was cuddling a now dozing Mina didn't help her mood. Not that she didn't mind comforting one of her friends but Serena wanted to fume properly and she couldn't do it with her arms full. Lita had declined a cup of tea before fleeing; the old brunette didn't want to be around for the impending storm.
When the blond heard the door open, she carefully deposited the little girl onto the couch. Then she fixed the most fearsome glare she could manage on her face.
No sooner had the wayward pink-haired preteen climbed up the steps into the living room, then she stopped dead upon seeing Serena. The girl tried to step backwards but she bumped into Darien.
"Hi..." Rini said nervously holding her hand up. She shuffled forward but not of her own free will. Serena remained silent.
"I found her at the arcade."
The room was silent for a long moment more before Serena exploded. "WHY ON EARTH DID YOU GO DOWN TO THE ARCADE AND LIKE LEAVE MINA ALL ALONE?!?" Rini looked away but Serena wasn't even going to give her cousin a chance to answer. "AND WHO GAVE YOU PERMISSION TO PUNISH MINA?!?" The subject of the tirade was awake by now. The little blond was looking partly startled but was giving her ex-friend a smug expression.
"Oh shut up, Meatball-for-Brains!" Rini replied, "You told me to look after her. She did something naughty and you woulda done the same to me!" The pink-haired girl scowled at her cousin.
"Young lady," Darien said in a stern voice, "You apologize to your mother."
"She's not my mommy," the preteen retorted smugly, "My mommy's beautiful and graceful and nice. Not like this empty-headed, klutzy, moron!"
Serena sniffled. She was so startled by this that she paused to consider it. Then her temper got the best of you. "Just wait till I get you over my knee..."
"Now, Serena," Darien said in a more soothing tone. "Rini's eleven."
"So?" Mina questioned and got a warning look from Darien. Serena crossed her arms and glowered.
"She's not a little kid." He wanted to add even if she's acting like one.
"Yeah!" Rini was starting to feel better.
"Fine!" Serena snapped. She turned and stalked across the floor, up the stairs, and down the hall to her bedroom. Her disappearance from the hallway was punctuated with the slamming of the door.
Darien moved to stand in front of his daughter and said, "Rini Shields, you're grounded for two months."
"And no allowance. Now, go up to your room."
"Yeah, go to your room!" Mina parroted. The little blond was standing on the couch and pointing towards Rini's bedroom. Shrugging, the preteen sauntered out of the living room up to her bedroom.
Sailor Pluto was nearly as mad as Serena was. "Mina could have gotten really hurt." Pluto had not set out to hurt any of the girls. "She could have at least shown some remorse... Fine, she's not going to get another chance like this."
It certainly wouldn't do to have the Princess walking all over her parents. The Guardian of Time glanced nervously through the Time Gate towards Crystal Tokyo and winced. "Things are getting worse instead of better."
"Aw Mom!" the gray kitten whined, "I wasn't doin' nothin' wrong." Luna rolled her eyes and directed her son down the sidewalk.
"Average, please speak in the proper Queen's English. And don't try to talk your way out of this. You shouldn't be wandering around downtown alone. Some alley cat might decide to eat you." Average, for his part, rolled his eyes.
The pink-haired girl reclined in her chair, headphones firmly placed over her ears listening to a CD. Her feet were propped up on her desk, a socked foot keeping time to an 'N Sync song blaring through the headphones. Being grounded wasn't so bad. The fact that she was too old for some punishments just added to her mood.
So, she had a setback with her new friends. No big deal. She could fix it. She figured she was just new to this teen stuff. Rini was so wrapped up in her own thoughts of what it would be like to be a teenager, and what freedom she would have, that she didn't discern the room shaking.
It was only when the headphones slipped off her head that she noticed something was seriously wrong. The next instant, she felt the chair tipping back as her feet lost contact with the desk.
Overbalancing, the girl gave a screech of surprise. Her eyes flew open and she gasped as the air was knocked out of her. "NO!" Rini howled as she realized her body was changing, growing smaller. It just wasn't fair! She was doing just fine.
Serena sat up and frowned slightly. The meatball-headed blond knew that something was happening. She looked around the room but things seemed fairly normal. Turning from the position on the bed, she paused as she stared at the mirror. She was growing younger. "No..." she pouted, sniffled again, and wiped a tear from her cheek. Even when she was married, Darien took Rini's side.
After several seconds, which seemed like minutes to Serena, the blond realized that she wasn't going back to being a teen. She was more in her mid-twenties. This was even better than before. Her breasts no longer sagged. She felt great. Hopping up, she stared out the window. Outside it was dark. Glancing at the clock, she realized that several hours had passed. It was somewhere around five.
Her stomach rumbled she was hungry.
Rini stared unhappily at her body. Her long arms and legs had become short and slightly pudgy. Her long pigtails were now short and puffy, just like when she had been seven. Her trendy "teen" clothing had morphed and now looked like something out of Sesame Street®. The only conclusion the once preteen could make was she was younger than her normal seven years.
The room confirmed this. The ceiling was higher and furniture bigger. The room's motif was frilly pinks and whites. Gone were the posters of teen hulks. Copious amounts of stuffed animals lay in neat heaps around the room. In one corner, a dollhouse stood on a small table.
She looked under her clothes. Her once budding chest was flat. The training bra she so recently worn gone. Her once flat stomach had a slight bulge, showing that some of her baby-fat was back. All the hair below had disappeared. Her white panties now had cute bunnies on them. A sudden wave of anger consumed her and she threw a temper tantrum.
"Rini, what are you doing out of the corner?" It was the cool, stern voice of a man. She stopped her tantrum, much to her relief, and looked way up at Darien. Blushing deeply, the now little girl got up, straightened the pink dress she was wearing, and tried to smile.
"Corner?" She lost her smile as Darien frowned. "Daddy?"
Daddy? Darien wasn't her father! She remembered she was mad at him. "I don't like you no more." The pink-haired child could feel her temper rising. That had not been what she wanted to say.
"Get into that corner this instant!"
After a few more moments, she shuffled over to the now small chair, righted it, and settled herself onto it. "Stay there, young lady."
"Yes... Daddy." Rini felt like crying. She was a baby like Mina.
Darien left his daughter's room and walked down the hall to the guestroom where Mina was. Peeking in, he found the little blond sitting in the corner where she had been put. Withdrawing, he turned and saw Serena coming out of the master bedroom. He moved down to his wife, wrapped his arms around her, and asked, "You okay?"
"I guess so, Darien," Serena mumbled out. "I should like make some dinner though."
"I tell you what," Darien said while hugging her to him. "What if I call Lita and see if she'll babysit Rini while me and you go out for dinner."
"You mean it?" When he nodded, the blond gave a squeal of delight and hugged him. "You're so majorly cool!" She gave him a long kiss and he returned it. Her nipples started getting hard and she felt a tingling deep within her. A dinner date with Darien usually led to them cuddling in bed and she felt herself growing warm at that thought. "Like I'll go call Lita."
He chuckled. "Well, the Ainos haven't picked Mina up yet so we'll have to wait for them to do that."
"Not a problem but it won't hurt to ask Lita now." Darien smiled as he watched Serena bound down the stairs.
"Like, I don't know what got into her," Serena was saying to Lita, "Rini like, blew a fuse or something."
Serena was distracted from Lita's reply by the doorbell. "I'll get it, Serena," Darien said.
"Okay," Serena replied then to Lita added, "I think Mina's parents are here."
"I'll be over in a few minutes," Lita replied. "Bye."
"Bye!" Serena replied and set the phone down. Upon seeing that it was indeed Mina's father, she said, "I'll go get Mina." Turning, she walked across the floor and up the stairs. "Rini!" she called, "Rini, come out here!" Not waiting for her daughter, she went into the guest bedroom and said, "Mina..." Serena was puzzled as to why Mina was sitting in the corner. "Come on, Pumpkin, your daddy's here." Slowly and with great reluctance, Mina got up and started gathering up her things.
"You wanted something, MOMMY?" Serena was startled by the high-pitched voice. She turned and her eyebrows rose as she saw that Rini was now about the size of Mina. The little pink-haired girl looked very unhappy.
"Come say good-bye to Mina."
Rini poked her head into the room and said, "Good-bye, Poophead!" The little blond sniffled.
"Rini!" Serena exclaimed. She saw the child scowl. "Go to your room!"
"'Kay. Who wants a meatball like you?" The pink-haired girl turned and sauntered back down the hall. Her mind though was furious. She was definitely having trouble speaking.
"Come on, Mina," Serena said in a sterner tone of voice. The little girl, having gathered her stuff up, left the room and headed down the stairs. The older woman followed after her.
She was a little surprised to hear Darien saying, "Rini and Mina snuck into the kitchen when Serena was on the phone. They tried to make a cake."
"Oh?" Mr. Aino asked while looking disapprovingly at his daughter. "And were you saying rude things to Mrs. Shields?" The little blond looked at the floor and shuffled her feet. "Don't worry, Darien, Mina and I will have a very long talk about this when we get home. Come and get your jacket and boots on, Mina." Mina sniffled and shuffled to get her boots and jacket on.
Shortly after Mina left, Rini heard her name being called. The pink-haired five-year-old walked out of her room and looked down to the first floor. "What?"
"Come down here, young lady!" Darien commanded.
Sighing expansively, she made her way down to the first floor. Concentrating, she said, "Ya know what? I gots stuff... to do."
"The only thing you're going to do is apologize to your mommy for your behavior this afternoon."
"NO!" the little girl protested, "I ain't gonna. I not sorry, Meatball Head."
Even before Serena could say anything, Darien said, "You were told to wait for Mommy, weren't you?"
"We don't like you telling fibs either."
"I'm not fibbin'!" Rini protested. "It didn't happen like that. I didn't make the cake. Mina made it." At least that was what Rini tried to say but it came out as, "Mina made the cake. She let me help. I'm not naughty."
"That might be true but you threw some batter at your mommy, and you were told to wait." Darien reached out, took his daughter by the hand, and moved to sit on the couch. "You were also very rude to Mommy."
"Daddy!" The child couldn't stand the whine in her voice. "Mo... Se-re-na ain't Mommy!" She really had to concentrate to call Serena by her first name instead of Mommy.
Darien frowned but didn't say anything. In one fluid movement, he pulled Rini over his knee. "Whatcha doin'?" she demanded.
"I'm going to spank you for being naughty," he intoned. Rini stiffened. He didn't see the pink-haired girl's eyes going wide in surprise. Flipping up the pink dress, he pulled down her bunny-covered underpants before securing her arms.
"No, Daddy! Please don't! I not naughty!" The little girl couldn't believe it.
"I'm your father. You will show your mother and I the proper respect," Darien intoned. He raised his hand and brought it sharply down on Rini's pale bottom. Another smack brought Rini out of her surprise. She started to wiggle but to no avail.
Darien continued the spanking, each swat making the heat in Rini's backside increase. The little girl squirmed and cried both from the stinging and from embarrassment. Serena was standing, slack-jawed at the spectacle before her.
When her rump was a glowing pink, Darien stood his daughter up and pulled up the underpants before straightening out the pink dress. "Now go with Mommy and have your bath. You're going to bed early." The pink-haired girl simply cried. Her defender had turned against her.
Darien watched carefully as Serena took Rini by the hand and led her upstairs. The little girl didn't protest. Instead, she concentrated on looking very unhappy.
Serena had been stunned by the sudden turn of events. Not more than two hours before, Darien was actively defending Rini to some extent. But this was completely different.
Shaking off her shock, Serena guided her small daughter into the bathroom and closed the door. "Come on, time for your bath." Rini just cried and rubbed at her eyes. "Lift up a foot," the meatball-headed blond directed. When the child did, she the small pink and white sock from the little foot. Serena did the same for the other one before saying, "Lift up your arms, Rini."
"No," Rini replied stubbornly.
"Rini..." Serena said warningly. Sniffling, the little girl raised her arms and allowed her mother to pull her dress off. "I'll start the water. You get out of those underpants."
"How come I got a spankin' when I was grounded?!?" Rini demanded. The older blond shrugged. "I don't think that it's fair, Serena."
"What you did was wrong," Serena said, "Now get out of those underpants." Sulking, the pink-haired girl pulled her underpants down and off. With Serena's help, she slipped into the now overly large tub and gently sat onto her still tender rump.
"I hate this," Rini grumbled out as she crossed her arms and looked unhappily at the water.
Serena picked up a washcloth and soaped it up. Running it over Rini's back, the blond looked closely at her cousin. "Like, what you did was majorly wrong, Rini. I mean would you really want Mina to get hurt? I would've like got into major trouble if I did the same thing to you."
"I guess, MOMMY," Rini grumbled out after a long time. "How come I got little?"
"I don't know," Serena said, "All I know is I didn't do it." Seeing the dubious look in the child's eyes, she added, "I promise."
"How'd you talk Darien into punishin' me?"
Serena shook her head and said, "I didn't, Sweetheart. I was like, just as surprised as you were."
Rini looked towards the water and sniffled. "I was just havin' fun." The little girl didn't want to believe her cousin but something in her voice said Serena was sincere.
"I tell ya what," Serena said, "You like be majorly good for Lita and I'll let you read the comics I bought this afternoon."
The five-year-old gave this some consideration. "'Kay." She held out her hand and said, "Shake on it, Serena." Serena solemnly shook the little hand.
"Now you wait right here. I'll be right back. I'm like gonna get you some pajamas and clean underpants."
A short time later, Serena said, "Come on, time to get you out of here." After lifting the little girl out, she proceeded to use a towel. Once the child was dry, she held up a pair of white underpants with little hearts on them.
"Do I gotta wear them? They're for babies."
"All we got, Rini," Serena said. Rini grumbled but stepped into the underpants. She put up more of a struggle when it came to the bunny pajamas. They were pink, disgustingly cute, and had a flap at the back. Rini eventually gave in though.
"I hate being five," Rini grumbled as Serena brushed out her hair.
"Yeah well, maybe you're young 'cause you didn't do too well being eleven."
"Nah, that's a dumb reason. I still say you did it, Serena, and took Luna Ball too."
"Hey, Luna Ball follows you," Serena countered, "Now come on, Rini. Darien made you dinner while I gave you a bath."
"At least you didn't cook," the pink-haired girl replied and walked out of the bathroom. Serena sighed; some things never changed.
Later that evening, Lita looked up from the page she was reading when she heard someone walk up beside the couch. "Rini!" she said with exasperation, "Why are you still up?" This was the fourth time and Lita was losing her patience with the child. The fact that the little girl had been actively disrespectful didn't help matters. This was quite atypical of the normally shy and reserved little girl.
Rini, holding a stuffed bunny, flushed brightly as she peeked over the rabbit's head. "Uh..."
Lita's sniffed and moved her eyes down slightly. "Oh..." It appeared as if the pink-haired child had wet the bed as well as her pajamas if the dark patch was any indication.
"Yeah," Rini said and blushed even more. She was so glad Darien and Serena weren't here.
"Well come on. I'll go change the bed after we get you cleaned up."
"You not tell on me?"
"It was an accident," Lita said, "Right?" Rini bit her bottom lip and nodded. "Come on," she prompted and held out her hand. The child took it and they both went up stairs together.
"Read me a story, Grandma Lita?" Rini requested.
"No, I can't," Lita replied, "Your mommy was pretty clear; no stories."
The child pouted. The pout grew when the old brunette chuckled softly. "I not funny." The older woman's face was only lit by the light from the nightlight.
"You remind me of my daughter. She was a lot like you when she was little... still is in some ways."
"She not in trouble." Rini sighed internally, that had not been what she wanted to say.
"Yes, she did get into trouble," Lita replied, "I remember the one time we had just finished painting the living room. Kim was maybe six, and she decided to do some artwork of her own." It seemed like only yesterday to her. Now Kim had children of her own.
"You put her in bed?" Rini questioned. Why couldn't she speak normally? At least she wasn't as bad off as Raye if Serena could be believed.
"Well, in the end I did." Lita smiled a little. "Then there was the time the boys put a couple of rubber snakes in Kim's bed." Rini giggled. "They could be trying but they're good kids." Lita smoothed out her hair and said, "Now you go to sleep."
"O-Kay," Rini agreed reluctantly. She hugged the rabbit and closed her eyes. Within a few minutes, the child was sound asleep and Lita crept from the room and pulled the door closed.
Sitting back onto the couch, Lita closed her eyes and leaned her head back. Yes Rini had been like Kim at times. But she was nowhere near what Serena had been like. Lita had been like a second mother to Serena.
She had watched the blond grow up. The brunette had helped Irene and Ken raise Serena and Sammy. Neither of the Tsukinos had any family living in Tokyo so it had been Lita who acted as a surrogate aunt and relief valve. Who knew one day that that little girl would grow up to be Sailor Moon?
The oldest of the Sailor Scouts giggled a little. "The stories I could tell." Yawning a little, Lita drifted off to sleep, dreaming of a certain meatball-headed five-year-old.
CONTINUE TO PART 4