Hope Through the Ages By the AP Scout (c) 2003 Part 4
As Serena predicted, the following day was even hotter than the day before. It also was turning out to be a frustrating day. Rini had got into mischief from the word go and Serena was slowly, assuredly losing her patience. The blond tried to hold her temper in check. She knew part of the reason was that Rini was just spirited as she had been when she was that age. The oppressive heat was also having an effect on both of them, and with the late night, it wasn’t a mystery why friction was easily generated.
Everything came to a head when mother and daughter were finishing up buying groceries. Fortunately for both, it wasn’t until they got home that Serena exploded.
"Rini! Get up to your room!" Serena thundered as soon as they came into the house, "I’ll be up there as soon as I put away these groceries."
"Yes ma’am," Rini said quietly, feeling a little worried. The youngster slunk up the stairs to her room and sat on the bed. The meatball-headed blond didn’t need to say anything; the pink-haired girl knew she was in for a spanking.
The seven-year-old flopped back onto her bed and grimaced. She’d had time to think about her tantrum in the store. She was deeply embarrassed about it. Even if Serena had been short with her, it didn’t make her feel any better.
And it wasn’t the almost certain prospect of a spanking that was worrying her. The youngster had been spanked by both her grandmother and mother before, when she had been pretending they were her aunt and cousin. No, what was worrying Rini was the possibility of being paddled.
As any typical kid will, the seven-year-old had been poking through her mother’s things. One rainy evening before bed Rini had been bored so had decided to snoop. The paddle Rini found was long, not very wide, and thin. When she moved it about, it seemed very flexible. At first, Rini couldn’t figure out what it would be used for except maybe to stir paint as she had seen one of the counselors at the Day Camp do.
Then she flipped the paddled over. There on the other side, in fiery red letters no less, were the words "Heat on the Seat". There was also a picture of a young girl, definitely older than Rini, who was looking over her shoulder with tears running down her cheeks. The little girl could see that the girl’s bottom was glowing red, right through her shorts.
Rini hoped that Serena didn’t know about this. Her grandmother had, on a couple of occasions, taken her to task with a hairbrush. This paddle though looked a tad more official.
Rini’s mind was pulled back to the present when she heard footsteps on the stairs. She held her breath as they softly moved down the hall. After a few long moments, they stopped and went into Serena’s room. The youngster sighed.
As the silence dragged on, her heart started to beat faster waiting for her mother to say something. Then she heard footsteps again in the hall but they were moving away from her room. Her face changed into a puzzled expression as she heard Serena move down the stairs. The house settled into stillness. The only noise was coming from outside her bedroom window.
Rini chewed her bottom lip. Her mother hadn’t been back upstairs in a long time. It had been so long that the little girl had been forced to creep to the bathroom and back again.
Frankly, her mother’s behavior confused the pink-haired girl. It shouldn’t have taken Serena that long to put everything away. While the seven-year-old didn’t like to be spanked, she certainly preferred Serena spanking her to her grandmother. Her mother always got it over quickly, not bothering to scold beforehand. Her grandmother, on the other hand, always dragged it out and scolded through the entire process. In Rini’s opinion, it was much easier to pay attention to Serena than Irene during a scolding.
Now though, Serena hadn’t come upstairs to hand out any type of punishment and that bothered Rini. She knew what she had done and couldn’t think of any reason to excuse her behavior.
"Maybe Mommy ain’t gonna talk to me," she voiced aloud. That was an unpleasant thought. She wandered over to her window and looked outside for a moment, thinking. "Maybe if I make Mommy a card," the youngster thought. She had seen all sorts of cards, not just for birthdays and holidays.
Despite the sticky situation she was in, Rini smiled. She also promised herself that she was going to face her punishment like a big girl and not like a baby. That’s how she had acted earlier that day.
Downstairs Serena sat at the table, an untouched glass of lemonade before her. Her chin was in her hands and her elbows were on the table. The blond was, to put it mildly, unhappy.
With the knowledge she gained from the Imperium Silver Crystal, she knew she was being a bad mother. She sighed. Maybe she should change everything back to normal and let her mother handle everything like before. At least if she did that, Lita would be all right. This reality’s Lita looked up to her as a mother figure and her inability to change the tall brunette back into human form was only another sign of how bad she was as a mom and mentor.
Mina looked up to her like an aunt. While this wasn’t bad, the meatball-headed blond suspected the ribbon-wearing one would do that to any adult that doted on her. It was nice being respected but none of the girls was really just her friend anymore. She couldn’t just hang with them as peers like before.
Serena sighed and closed her eyes. She also realized how Rini saw her and Serena knew that she could never live up to the mother that the child had come in search of. She was living a lie, and Serena Tsukino hated lying.
Moreover, in that secret place in which Serena held a torch for Darien, she cried knowing that he didn’t want her at all. She was just a grownup and leader of the Sailor Scouts to him. Her view had changed as well. He like the other girls (save Amy) seemed like immature kids to her now. She knew they still had a lot of growing up to do. She couldn’t see herself being with Darien as things currently stood.
She wiped her tears. "Maybe I better change things back before Rini comes down," Serena thought and sat up.
"Mo-mommy?" the voice asked softly. Serena froze and then slowly turned to see Rini standing there in a set of blue shorts and a white T-shirt.
"Too late," Serena thought. Now what was she going to do?
Rini looked at her mother’s face. Serena had been crying. "Hi munchkin," the blond said, sounding very sad.
"Were you cryin’, Mommy?"
"Yes." A sniffle and then the adult wiped a tear.
"’Cause of me?" the pink-haired girl asked softly. Her mother didn’t answer but looked off to the side. The youngster felt a cold lump form in her stomach. She’d made her mother cry. Being naughty was one thing, making Serena cry was something completely different. She never wanted Serena to cry even before she found out she was her mother. "I’ll be right back, Mommy!" Rini declared as resolve took a hold of her. Turning, the little girl ran down the hall and thudded up the stairs.
Serena blinked in confusion. "What is she up to?" Serena asked softly. She needed to prepare to change things back. Rini though seemed to have other plans.
It didn’t take long before the thudding of small feet on the stairs could be heard again. Moments later, the seven-year-old appeared. She skidded to a halt in front of Serena looking both anxious and determined.
"Here," Rini said and thrust something at Serena. Serena took it and for an instant was puzzled. Then she recognized the paddle. This just puzzled her even more. "Are ya gonna spank me here or in my room, Mommy?"
"Here?" Serena questioned. The youngster seemed to take it as an answer because she hooked her thumbs into her shorts and panties and pulled them down to her knees. Clasping her hands in front of her, Rini waited for her mother to push away from the table so she could bend over her lap.
Serena, when she realized what Rini was thinking, had the common sense not to laugh. The little girl was being quite serious and it wouldn’t do to make light of her feelings. The blond looked at the paddle. It was similar to the one her dad had. It was only meant strictly as a joke or as a reminder to be good. She would tell her daughter that later though.
Shifting around, Serena bent forward and raised the lowered clothing. She then stood up and guided Rini over to the couch. Sitting down, Serena pulled the child onto her lap and hugged her. "I’m not going to spank you, Rini."
"But I was bad, Mommy," Rini countered then added, "I made you cry."
"Sweetheart," Serena said and hugged the youngster, "What you did at the store didn’t make me cry. I was just feeling sad."
The pink-haired girl pondered for a moment, scrambled to her feet, and ran from the room. "So much for a touching moment," Serena grumbled. Her daughter returned quickly and thrust something at Serena again. The meatball-headed blond took the folded paper.
It was a card. "To the bestest Mommy in the world!" The large words declared on the front. Serena felt a lump form in her throat. The inside of the card held a verse. It didn’t really rhyme, some of the words were misspelled, but Serena loved it.
When Serena looked up, Rini said, "I thought you weren’t gonna talk to me ever again."
"Come here, munchkin." The little girl settled onto Serena’s lap and the mother hugged the little girl tightly. "I’ll love you, no matter what you do."
"Promise?" The youngster sounded hopeful.
"Rini, I might get mad at things you do but I’ll always love you. Mom... I was just thinking. I didn’t mean to make you worry." The seven-year-old grinned with relief and snuggled against her mother. After a few moments, her mother said, "I think we should change things back."
Rini jerked away from her mother and stared at the blond, big red eyes looking puzzled and a little worried. "Why Mommy?"
"You know I’m nowhere near like your mommy in the future."
"Your mommy is tall and pretty and smart... and the Queen. I’m not any of those really. I’ll probably end up in eighth grade forever!" She really couldn’t tell Rini she missed being ditzy fourteen-year-old Serena, pining over Darien, and just hanging out with the girls or at the arcade.
"But Mommy..." Rini was confused. Serena looked just like her mommy except for the crown and stuff.
"And how can I be your mommy if I didn’t see you grow up?" Rini looked thoroughly confused. "I mean I didn’t get to hear your first words, or see you trying to walk." It was true. She always hoped to be a mother after she married Darien. And with him watch their children and the other Scouts’ children play together.
"Don’tcha wanna be my mommy?!" Tears were starting to form in the little girl’s eyes.
"I do, Rini," Serena said emphatically, "I really do. I want to be able to rock you to sleep. Even change your diapers, give you a bath. I want to watch you learn how to walk ’n’ talk." She held the youngster close and stroked one of the fluffy pink pigtails. "I wanna see you grow up." That was a lot to think about. Rini really wasn’t sure how to respond. After a few moments of silence, Serena added, "I bet you don’t like following all of the rules either. I bet you like being a princess."
The little girl shook her head and said to Serena, "Rules are rules." That’s what Luna always said. There were things she could and couldn’t do. There were things that even grownups could and couldn’t do. Grownups had rules about driving, though what they were she didn’t really know. Even queens had rules. Yes, there were times she thought the rules pertaining to her were unfair, or not fun at all.
As to being a princess, she found being a normal little girl much easier. She went to school with other kids. No royal tutors. She had friends like Missy. Luna didn’t lecture her all the time. She didn’t have to be on her best behavior all the time or be nice to all kinds of stuffy grownups at stupid royal parties. Princesses had lots more rules than she did.
"I don’t wanna go back."
"I don’t wanna go back there," Rini said with tears streaming down. "Can’t we stay?" She looked up at the blond and saw indecision there. "What if I was little, Mommy?" Serena blinked in surprise.
"Well, you ARE little... I mean compared to me and..." Serena said.
"No..." The little girl gave it some thought. "I mean REALLY little. So you could do all that stuff you said. Then could we stay?"
"Well..." Serena considered. Rini looked very unhappy.
Serena gave her daughter a serious look. "You know, munchkin, you might not like that stuff."
"I don’t wanna be little forever," the child countered. She could see that Serena wasn’t happy though. She’d made her cry and that was something she had to make up for.
Serena smiled and patted her on the head her curiosity winning out over her reservations. "Okay, Rini, I can always change things back if I have too." Rini smiled happily at her. "Are you ready?"
"Yep!" Rini said, though she didn’t feel quite as confident as she sounded.
Before using the Imperium Silver Crystal, Serena did a few things. First, she rooted around to see if she had any of Rini’s baby clothing left. She did and the youngster stared at them in surprise. Of course, the blond fell in love with them and gushed about how cute they were.
"I’m gonna be THAT little?" Rini squeaked out.
"No way!" Rini said. She just hadn’t thought how small a baby could be. She did promise and it was the only way she’d get to stay. Then she noticed Serena’s expression. "What?"
"I just remembered something."
"Um... You know how babies drink from a bottle, right?"
"Yeah." The pink-haired girl nodded. "So?"
"Well, I was looking through your baby pictures before and..." The youngster waited, her mother put a hand on the back of her head. "See, sweetheart, you um... didn’t drink from a bottle."
Rini blinked. "I didn’t... Was I weird or somethin’?" The adult’s laugh was strained. The little girl tried to grin but couldn’t quite manage it.
"No... You were more natural." Red eyes stared blankly up at Serena. "Seems I breastfed you."
"What the heck is that?" When Serena finally told her, the little girl’s reaction was, "Eew!" But after a moment, she sighed. "Well, it won’t be for long." And nothing could be worse than wearing a diaper.
The second thing Serena did before using the Imperium Silver Crystal was to get Rini to lie down on her bed on a towel. When questioned, the blond explained, "You might go potty while you’re changing. I don’t want to mess up the sheets and all." It made a good amount of sense.
She felt nervous as she lay there. Serena had her broach out and was looking rather thoughtful. "Ready?"
"Yep!" She was having real reservations.
"Okay then." Serena closed her eyes and after a moment, the Imperium Silver Crystal flared to life. At first, the pink-haired girl didn’t think anything was going to happen, and then a tingling in her toes started. The seven-year-old watched with nervous fascination as one by one her toes shrank. They grew so small that Rini thought they’d disappear.
The tickling sensation moved up to her feet and then grew smaller. The tiny feet looked absurd attached to her big legs. The youngster thought that if she had been standing her little feet would have been squashed. When her legs started to change, Rini got a creepy feeling. They shortened, drawing upwards, thickening, fattening. Her legs grew smaller and smaller and she felt fat being added to her bottom, even as they grew smaller.
Her cheeks turned bright pink as she felt her body void itself. Her stomach grew smaller as her torso shrank. She gained baby fat about her tummy and as the feeling flowed through her arms. She could tell that her fingers were turning slightly pudgy, less dexterous, and very tiny. Her cheeks grew chubbier and her head smaller. The room seemed to enlarge around her. Her long pink hair grew shorter, its pigtails rapidly retreating. She reached up a tiny hand and felt the strands pulling back into her scalp until there wasn’t even enough for a small pigtail. Soon, there were only wisps of pink fuzz left.
As Rini regressed, so did Serena. Her breasts firmed and grew slightly larger filling with milk. Her slim figure changed slightly, still little bulky with fat from a very recent pregnancy. When Serena was done, the twenty-four-year-old new mother looked down at her very tiny, two-week-old eight-pound baby girl.
"Hi princess," she cooed softly as she moved closer. Rini smiled at the huge face above her and gurgled happily. "I hope you didn’t change your mind." She thought something approximating the word "no" came from the infant. "Well, it won’t last long." Serena then noticed the mess. She wouldn’t want to do this for long. "Should we get you all cleaned up, tiny Rini?" The baby grinned. She liked that idea.
Serena was right in that Rini’s second infanthood wouldn’t last long. By the time that Serena settled down for the night, Rini had already progressed in age to approximately four-months-old and it showed no signs of stopping. Her appetite also grew with her. Rini at first didn’t like breast-feeding. Her seven-year-old mind rejected it. Her infantile body, on the other hand, had other ideas; namely, it was hungry and it was natural for a baby to suckle. Once the first meal was over with the others became easier even looked forward to.
While Serena had adjusted the clothing as her daughter grew, she didn’t want to stay up all night to monitor things. Fortunately, it was summer and a simple sheet would suffice, though it was certain to become soiled.
One of Rini’s great embarrassments as a seven-year-old was occasionally wetting the bed. So being in a body that totally lacked control of both types of waste was even more mortifying. Thankfully, Serena hadn’t complained about her job. Still what annoyed Rini most about the small body was her lack of speech. She could only gurgle and coo. Although as she aged, her range of sounds steadily increased.
By the time early morning sunlight started to filter through the open window, Rini was past the first year stage and fast approaching her second year. She was cuddled next to a sleeping Serena. Wiggling slightly, the almost toddler got the exposed nipple into her mouth and began to suckle. She wasn’t hungry and the breast was not giving much milk but the action alone was comforting.
Mercifully, Rini hadn’t soiled herself or the bed in the intervening hours. "I hope that she’ll be out of diapers by noon," Serena silently wished then stirred. Red eyes shifted to meet sleepy blue ones. Her mother smiled down at her and stroked her pink tufts of hair.
"’Morning munchkin." Her daughter wiggled her tiny fingers. "Well, let’s get up and get ready for the day."
"Moah..." Rini responded sleepily. She could lie there all day.