Return to Final Fantasy X-3 Chapter Three

Final Fantaxy X-3

Author: Stormforce
Rating: R
Disclaimer: Don't own either series.
Notes: <Anything in these are thoughts>

When the girls had boarded the 'Star Kingdom' ship Donald tried to take the controls of the ship, only to get his feathers pulled by Buffy. Glaring at the duck, and receiving a glare in return, Buffy hopped into the pilots seat and started the engines.

Willow and Tara were looking at the sphere in the middle of the bridge, as more and more stars began appearing. Goofy joined them and pointed to a bright pink, almost red star and call of the coordinates to Buffy. The ship disappeared in a flash and reappeared in orbit flying toward its destination.

Once the ship began approaching the pink star, a yellow light appeared at the back of the room. Donald nodded, grabbed Goofy and approached the light.

"Follow us." Donald said stepping into the light and vanished.

Buffy set the ship's defenses before following the others to the light, and vanished from the ship, and reappeared floating in a small downward tunnel. As they gently floated to the ground they could hear Goofy snoring and watched as he hit the ground beside Donald.

As soon as their feet touched the ground, the girls began looking around, one very small table stood to the right, and a clock hung from the wall behind them. Faith cursed when something hit the top of her head, and fell to the floor before jumping up.

"Oh, my fur and whiskers! I'm late, I'm late, I'm late! Oh, dear, oh, dear, oh, dear! I'm here, I should be there! I'm late, I'm late! The queen, she'll have my head for sure!" A small white rabbit in a suit with a pocket watch said as he rushed off, leaving behind four stunned girls, and two confused guys.

"What's he late for?" Donald asked and followed the rabbits' path.

Opening the door at the end of the tunnel, the group stepped inside a large room. There was a stove and sink on the right, a table in the middle of the room, and a bed and bookcase on the left. Tara crouched down examining a very small door.

"How'd he get so small?"

"No, you're simply too big." The doorknob said startling the group, and causing Tara to fall back.

"It talks!" Donald shouted shocked.

"Must you be so loud? You woke me up."

"Good morning." Goofy spoke causing the doorknob to yawn.

"Good night! I need a bit more sleep."

"Wait! Don't go to sleep just yet." Willow said crouching down. "What do we have to do to grow small?"

The doorknob yawned again. "Try that bottle on the table."

Faith picked up a red bottle eyeing it suspiciously before she shrugged. "If it kills me, kill the doorknob." She said drinking a small amount of the red liquid, and handing it to Buffy.

The girls watched as Faith's body began to shrink until she was no bigger than the white rabbit. Taking it as a good sign Buffy drank from the bottle and passed it to Tara.

Once everyone was small, the door opened allowing them to pass into a beautiful green courtyard, with card men standing guard. Hearing a trumpet sound the group walked forward and saw the White Rabbit lower the trumpet, as a young blond girl in a blue dress stood in front of an angry looking older woman.

"Court is now in session!" The White Rabbit shouted.

"I'm on trial? But why?" The girl asked confused.

The White Rabbit ignored the girl and turned toward the other woman and bowing. "Her Majesty, the Queen of Hearts, presiding!"

"That girl is the culprit!" The queen shouted glaring at the girl. "There's no doubt about it. And the reason is...because I say so, that's why!"

"That is so unfair!" The girl said stomping her foot down.

"Well, have you anything to say in your defense?"

"Of course! I've done absolutely nothing wrong! You may be queen, but I'm afraid that doesn't give you the right to be mean!"

The queen quickly stood as her face turned red. "Silence! You dare defy me?"

Willow glanced around before looking back at the trial and shaking her head. "Don'tcha think we should help her out?"

"Yeah, but the-" Donald said and was cut off when Goofy spoke.

"We're outsiders, so wouldn't that be muddling?"

"Meddling!" Donald shouted.

"Oh, yeah. And that's against the rules." Goofy said nodding.

"The court finds the defendant Alice...guilty as charged! For the crimes of assault and attempted theft of my heart..." The queen shouted and turned toward the cards. "Off with her head!"

"No! No! Oh, please!"

"Hold it right there!" Tara shouted as she and the others stepped into view.

"Who are you?" The queen of hearts shouted angrily. "How dare you interfere with my court!"

Tara stood trying to stare the queen down, and not really getting all that far, as Faith stepped forward. "Excuse me. But we know who the real culprit is!"

"Uh-huh. It's the Heartle-" Goofy started but covered his mouth with his hands as his eyes went wide.

"Anyway," Buffy said standing at her full height. "she's not the one you're looking for."

"That's nonsense! Have you any proof of this?" The queen asked as one of the cards locked Alice in a small round cage. "Bring me evidence of Alice's innocence! Fail and it's off with all of your heads! Gather as much or little evidence as you please, and report back here when you're ready."

Willow nodded and looked around the courtyard, there was another entrance to their left, taking Tara's hand and nodding to the others, she took the lead. They emerged inside a dark overgrown forest with the biggest trees they'd ever saw.

"Whoa! What a forest!" Buffy said glancing around the small clearing and was startled to see a set of smiling teeth appear in front of her, followed by a purple head.

"W-who are you?" Willow asked taking a step back gripping her blade, as a purple and pink striped body appeared in the shape of a cat.

"Who, indeed?" The cat said floating in the air. "Poor Alice. Soon to lose her head, and she's not guilty of a thing!"

"Hey, if you know who the culprit is, tell us!" Faith growled.

"The Cheshire Cat has all the answers -but doesn't always tell. The answer, the culprit, the cat all lie in darkness." He said beginning to disappear.

"Wait!" Tara shouted at the disappearing cat and frowned.

"They've already left Lotus Forest. I won't tell which exit. There are four pieces of evidence in all. Three are a cinch to find. The fourth is tricky. Big reward if you find them all." The cats voice said from thin air.

Donald shook his head and looked up at Tara, "Should we trust him?" he asked and jumped when the Cheshire Cat's voice spoke from behind him.

"To trust, or not to trust? I trust you'll decide!"

"Ya know, I really don't like this place." Buffy said looking at a flower growing from one of the trees.

"Give me a Potion and I'll make you big." The flower said startling Buffy.

"I hate this place." Buffy grumbled as Willow approached and looked at the flower.

"I wonder how it is we can understand the language? I mean, we're in another world, we've just talked to a cat, and now a flower is talking."

Tara glanced from Willow to the flower, and suddenly remembered. "The gifts! What if this is one of the gifts? You know, understanding things we couldn't if we'd have just appeared here."

"You're right, this is probably one of them." Willow said shrugging and taking a Potion from her pouch. "Here, flower, make me big."

"Thanks!" The yellow flower said as a yellow light surrounded Willow causing her grow, and the others to run behind the trees.

"Sweet! I can see the whole forest from up here!" Willow said happily and spotted three chests, one black, one blue and one green.

Reaching over the tree limbs she picked both chests up and sat the on the ground. After she sat the chests down, a weird feeling took over her body, and she began to shrink. Once back to her small size Willow looked around confused, before shaking her head and opening the black chest, and fell back as a awful stench hit her face.

Donald and Goofy swooned for a moment as the girls covered their nose and mouth.

"Whoa! What the hell is that!?" Faith asked coughing.

Reaching inside the chest Willow pulled out a small Antenna, and a clump of hair. Taking a shallow breath Willow looked up and grinned. "Looks like we've found two of the clues."

"Make that three!" Tara said lifting up a small round log with a footprint in the center.

Buffy opened the blue chest and fell back as three Dalmatians puppies jumped out of the chest and began licking her face. "What're you guys doing in a chest?"

"We got scattered from our family." One of them said causing everyone but Donald and Goofy to stare.

"Remember when I said I'd seen some strange things when we went to Cactuar Hollow?" Faith asked picking up one of the pups. "That was nothing compared to this!"

"Thank you for freeing us but we need to get back to our parents." The one Faith was holding said, as a light surrounded him, and the two others before they vanished.

"Guys! Look out!" Willow shouted as a Heartless soldier jumped down from the trees. "Stupid cat! Said they were gone!"

For just a moment Buffy glowed orange and held her hands out toward the group. "Aero!" she shouted as a small gray barrier surrounded each of the girls, and guys. One of the Heartless shadows had jump-attacked Tara, and was thrown back when it came into contact with the barrier. Seeing an opening Tara brought her staff down on the creatures head, and watched as it disappeared with a 'pop'.

Willow and Donald double-teamed the soldier casting four Thunder spells in a row; Donald waited as Willow finished with a Flare spell that sent the Heartless into a tree before it disappeared. Faith glowed dark blue and held her right hand out toward two more Heartless soldiers that had appeared. "Gravity!" she shouted watching a black barrier surround the soldiers and began shrinking, until the Heartless disappeared.

Holding out his shield, Goofy began spinning around picking up speed as he moved forward into a group of four Heartless shadows. The force of his attack sent the shadows flying into Willow and Faith's line of attack. Bringing their Keyblades around and down, they split the shadows in half, and watched as they disappeared.

With the Heartless shadows and soldiers gone the group stood for a moment, and listened. Nothing, the only sound they heard was the rustling of the leaves blowing in the breeze.

"Now what?" Faith asked sheathing her blade.

"I saw a dark doorway at the top of the trees, all we have to do is climb and see where it leads." Willow said leading the group toward a set of three large mushrooms, and used them as stepping-stones to get higher up.

Once at the top she made a running dash toward the end, and jumped the ten-foot gap -just catching on to the ledge of the small treetop. Pulling herself up, she waited as the others joined her before placing her hand on the doorknob.

"Let's see where this leads, shall we?" she asked and opened the door.

Continue to Final Fantasy X-3 Chapter Five

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