Dawn landed the airship close to the Kilika docks and waited as the girls left. Heading toward town they saw a group of Youth Leagues members led by Cordelia approaching them. Sighing and tensing for a fight Willow faced the group.
''Gullwings, right?" Cordelia stated more than asked glancing from Willow, to Tara, and to Buffy. "Sphere hunters that give back spheres. Now that's a little odd. But we are glad you're on our side."
Relaxing Willow grinned. "Well, we just wanted to see it...by the way have you seen any of Leblanc's goons running around?"
"Leblanc? Who's that?"
"A blond woman, who dresses like a slut!"
"Willow!" Tara smiled and shook her head as Buffy shook with laughter. "But she is right, so, have you seen her?"
"No, can't say that I've seen that sort of woman around here." Cordelia laughed.
"Okay, thanks though."
"By the way, we're still fighting with New Yevon. You might want to keep your distance from the island for a little while."
"Thanks for letting us know." Buffy nodded and headed back to the ship.
Besaid Island was the next stop, Buffy squealed and ran out of the cargo door speeding toward Xander and Anya's hut. Xander wasn't expecting the bone-crushing hug and fell to the ground with Buffy landing on top of him. Anya came out of the hut and laughed when she saw a dazed looking Xander.
"Honey, you okay?''
"Yeah...but did you fry that blond flying ape that attacked me?"
"Ape!" Buffy shouted and smacked Xander's face before latching on to Anya.
"How are you? Is the baby okay? Is it almost here? Will you tell us?" Buffy asked all the while searching for just the right spot to feel the baby kick.
"I'm fine. The baby's fine. A little while longer. And yes we will tell you." Anya shook her head and saw Willow holding Tara's hand as they finally caught up. "And how are all of you?"
"Oh, we're fine...have you seen any of Leblanc's goons running around?" Willow asked grinning when Buffy giggled.
"She's a blond-" Willow was stopped when Tara's hand clamped over her mouth.
"Sorry, sweetie." Tara smiled at Willow and turned to Anya. "She's another sphere hunter."
"Nope, the only sphere hunters around here are you guys." Xander said sitting up and looking around. "Did ya see a flying ape?" he asked getting a glare from Buffy. "What? I swear there was one!"
"Flying ape? Umm...no I haven't seen one of those." Willow said when Tara lowered her hand.
"Sorry to cut this short, but we got to get going." Tara said and grabbed Buffy.
Dawn was watching the Aurochs practice when they reached the airship, and saw Jassu running toward them.
"We knew you were on our side!" He said excitedly.
"All the Aurochs joined the Youth League. But Xander hasn't joined yet."
"Can't blame him, ya? His kid's popping out any minute you know." Datto said approaching.
"You men must be confident in your strength if you're skipping training to flap your lips like that!" A man with a blue suit and a face cover said walking up to the group. "I am Beclem, and I'm here to pound some fight into these pathetic slackers!"
"This guy is creeping me out." Buffy said inching her way toward the airship.
"Yeah, seriously." Tara said and turned to leave.
"See you later, guys." Datto said and bowed.
"Stop that at once!" Beclem shouted causing the girls to turn around. "The age of temples and prayers are over. There is no need to bow down to any summoner."
"Hey! Who's Calm do you think this is, buster?" Buffy shouted before Willow had a chance to say anything.
"There are no more Aeons to summon. The summoners are worthless now!"
"You will take those words back!" Tara spoke angrily.
"Ha! I will do no such thing."
"You will take them back, before I make you!" Willow growled out gripping her sword.
"And why? I find it hard to believe that you defeated Sin! You obviously had help." Beclem said to Tara.
"I did, from my friends, and wife. My pilgrimage was successful because they and the Aeons supported me along the way. And they still do. Memories of the time we spent together make me strong. And I won't stand here and let you call that useless."
"I don't know why your kind always prattle on about your precious memories." Beclem said turning and heading back to the village.
"He's got some nerve!" Buffy said glaring at his back.
"Bastard!" Willow growled and clamed down when Tara gently kissed her lips.
"Don't worry about him, we've got bigger fish to fry. Okay?"
"Yeah." Willow sighed hugging Tara close before getting on the ship.
"Now where to?" Dawn asked starting up the ship.
"How 'bout Mi'ihen?" Buffy asked sitting in her own chair beside Dawn's.
"Sounds good to me." Tara was rubbing Willow's back trying to calm her down a bit more.
Dawn sat the airship down just outside of the Al Bhed shop and pressed the stand by button. The girls walked into the shop and saw a young teenage girl talking to the clerk.
"I'm sorry, but there aren't any chocobos around."
"I see... Sorry I bothered you." The young girl said and turned to leave, but stopped when she saw Tara. "Aren't you Lady Tara?"
"I am." Tara smiled.
"You don't remember me, do you?"
Tara looked closely at the girl and thought back. "You can't be... Calli?"
"Yeah! You do remember me!" Calli said happily
"Oh! You were the little girl that was looking forward to the Calm!" Willow said remembering the small girl from two years before. "Wow! You've really grown! What're you doing here?"
"Well, I wanted to ride a chocobo."
"There aren't that many chocobos around any more, everyone rides the hovers." Buffy said and opened the door for the girl, and followed her out to the small hill overlooking the ocean.
"Yeah... and I've also heard there's a chocobo-eating fiend prowling around. This road was never safe for the poor little chocobos."
"Maybe they're gone for good?" Buffy sighed and her eyes widened as a chocobo stopped behind the group.
"Cho..." Tara stared at the yellow bird.
"Cho!" Buffy said excitedly causing Willow to look at her confused.
"It's a chocobo!" Calli shouted as the chocobo ran off with the girls following.
"It went this way!" Buffy shouted and followed the bright yellow feathers on the ground. "Ooh! There it is! Let's get him!" They followed the bird down the highroad, trying to catch it. The chocobo would jump over their heads and run off. "This is starting to chap my hide! Get back here bird-brain!" Buffy shouted as the bird jumped over her head again.
"For such scrawny legs, it sure can run." Willow said resting her hands on her knees, and breathing hard.
Buffy climbed up on top of one of the ruins and looked toward Luca. "There it is!" she shouted and pointed to the chocobo at the beginning of the road. Willow and Tara took off as she fell from the roof of the ruin and landed on something hard. She rubbed her sore ass and ran after the girls.
"We need to think of something else, or we'll never catch it!" Tara said when the chocobo ran off again.
"I got an idea." Willow said and ran over to the hover driver and talked to her. She smiled as she hurried back to Tara. "Okay, let's do it."
Finding the chocobo and making it run back toward the shop the girls chased after it, as the hover sped by them, and passed the bird. The hover driver turned the hover cross ways of the road trapping the chocobo between it and the girls. Willow petted the chocobo and smiled as Buffy jumped up and down.
"We finally caught it!" Tara shouted happily as a man came running toward her.
"Hey, Calli's in trouble!" The man shouted and ran off toward the shop with the girls and chocobo following. He led them to the second stretch of the highroad that looked down on the oldroad. Calli was laying unconscious on the top of a ruin with a chocobo eater closing in fast. Tara was about to jump down when Willow and Buffy grabbed her.
"You can't!" Willow said as she pulled Tara back.
"But there isn't enough time!"
"Hyaa!" William shouted and sent four chocobos to distract the fiend. "We'll buy you some time! Lady Tara, please hurry!" He said and ducked under the fiends' giant hand.
Tara ran off with the others following and took the side road to the fiend. Drawing her pistols Tara pointed them at the fiend, as Willow infused the bullets with Fire magic. Buffy had already mixed up a Firestorm mix and threw it toward the fiend.
Willow cast a Flare spell, and swung her Fire infused sword across its chest. The sword burned a deep cut into its chest, and another as Willow swung again. Tara emptied both clips in her pistols, and waited a few seconds before the clips were fresh again. Buffy took the sword Willow had given her, and threw it at the fiend. The sword stuck between its eyes as the fiend fell over and burst into souls.
William had helped Calli down off the ruins after the fight was over, and put her on a chocobo to ride. The girls watched her as she rode around in circles, as they talked to William.
"I thought you were in the Calm Lands... What're you doing here?" Willow asked cleaning the blood off her sword.
"I followed a chocobo here... and I happened to see that fiend attacking."
"Glad you were here to help." Tara smiled and leaned into Willow wrapping her arm around her waist.
"Yeah, if you like I can make sure she gets home safely."
"Thank you. We really have to be going." Buffy grinned. "By the way, Will, that one goes on my record!"
"Whatever." Willow smiled. "Anyway I have more kills than you." she laughed and ran off with Buffy chasing after her. Sighing Tara shook her head and followed.
Willow ran to the entrance of Mushroom Rock Road and was stopped when Yaibal stepped in front of her.
"Lady Tara!" Yaibal shouted happily when Tara approached. "Thank you!"
"For what?" Tara glanced to Willow then Buffy confused.
"I'm sure this is the day that you will honor us by joining the Youth League!"
"That's not why we're here." Willow said with a glare.
"Don't worry about any thing... I'll make sure everyone knows!" Yaibal ignored Willow and ran off.
"I can't believe this!" Willow growled shaking her head.
"Don't worry, sweetie, we'll get it straightened out." Tara gently kissed her, and followed Yaibal's path.
The girls followed the road toward the lift, as they neared the ravine Mizu sent a transmission.
"Hey, we're getting weak sphere waves near you."
"I don't see anything." Buffy looked around.
"Remember that cave you found Leblanc's men in? That's probably where it is."
"Okay, we'll check it out." Willow said and jumped into the ravine, and led the others to the cave.
Stepping inside the cave the girls saw Nooj standing in front of the sphere door. He looked at a sphere in his hand and back to the door, before shaking his head and turning.
"Oh! Lady Tara. Hello."
"Is something wrong?" Tara asked as she stared past him to the door.
"This place has been sealed. And just one sphere isn't enough. You see it takes red spheres to open the door."
"Why don't you let us take care of it?" Buffy asked grinning.
"You'll find the other spheres?"
"On my honor as a sphere hunter!" Tara smiled.
"But we won't do it for free." Willow said and stepped beside Tara.
"Very well, I will leave it to you. Here, hold on to this." He said handing Tara the red sphere.
"Thanks!" Buffy giggled and watched him leave.
They followed the path out a few minutes later and headed toward the headquarters. Upon exiting the lift Darla came running toward them, smiling happily.
"Is it true? Are you really going to join the League?"
"I'm going to take a wild guess, Yaibal?" Willow asked and leaned up against the rocks.
"Everyone's talking about it!"
"Man! This just keeps getting better and better." Buffy sighed shaking her head.
"We just helped the one time, really." Tara saw Darla nod.
"I didn't think it was true. Yaibal has a way of turning everything around." She said as Drusilla approached.
"Do not worry, Lady Tara, I have reprimanded Yaibal for spreading such ridiculous rumors."
"But it would be great if it were true." Darla sighed.
"Still trying to get her to join?" Willow said as she stepped beside Tara and took her hand.
"No. I know that words alone are not enough to sway Lady Tara's heart. The heart moves of it's own accord from within, and not from without." Drusilla said as her headset beeped. "Please excuse us, we have a strategy session to attend. Farwell."
"Come back and see us again!" Darla said as Drusilla pulled her away.
"Come on, let's tell Dawn to pick us up." Willow said and cast a Blizzaga spell on a Bomb that was sneaking up behind them.
"So where to?" Buffy asked as the ship landed.
"Djose Temple." Tara said uncertain watching Buffy go from happy to pissed in a heartbeat thinking she’d see Gippal there.