The group had walked through the Second and Third District's without having to fight any Heartless, which the girls were thankful for. The Third District was easy to navigate, there was only one house -the house they'd meet Giles at later, and two doors.
The first door lead back to the First District, and the second door was at the back, with a picture of a flame carved into the wood. There was an inscription at the top reading 'Use the Power of the Flame to Enter', shrugging, Willow cast a low-level Fire spell and watched as the door slid up.
Stepping past the door the group found themselves in a dark area with a small house sitting in the middle of a small lake. The only way to get across the water to the house was to use a set of moving stones to jump on.
When one stone moved to the right, the next would begin moving toward the left, making it difficult to reach. Once everyone was across the water they moved around the darkened house, and found an opening covered with a long piece of cloth, and stepped into the house.
There was nothing but a circular platform in the middle of the room, the rest of the place was empty, and covered in dust. Tara stepped further in, and leaned against the circular platform with a sigh.
"Why were we sent here? It's just that no one is here, so why have us deliver a book to an empty house?" Tara asked and got a shrug from the others, right before they all jumped as an old man appeared.
"Well, well, you've arrived sooner than I expected." The man said sitting a small cloth bag on the floor.
"Huh? You knew we were coming?" Willow asked confused.
"Of course." The man smiled.
"Are you a...Heartless?" Buffy asked suspiciously, as Faith slowly raised her hand to the hilt of her Keyblade.
"He doesn't look like one." Donald said leaning forward looking the man over.
"Oh, my. No." The man laughed. "My name is Merlin. As you can see, I am a sorcerer. And I spend much of my time traveling, but now, it's good to be home. Oh, your king also requested my help."
"King Mickey?" Goofy asked relaxing a bit.
"Yes, indeed. Donald, Goofy." Merlin said shaking the guys hands, before turning to the girls. "And who might you ladies be?"
"I'm Willow, and this is Tara, my wife."
"Hey, the name's Faith, and this is Buffy, my girlfriend."
"Nice to meet you ladies... Ah! You have the Keyblades! Good, good."
"What did the king ask you to do?" Donald asked still a little untrustworthy.
"Just a moment." Merlin said opening his bag.
The girls stood stunned as they watched more and more items float out of the open bag and float around the room. A bright light flashed, and as it died down the room was now full of books, magical items, shelves, a table and chairs sat on the circular platform, and candles lit up the room.
"Whoa! That was cool." Buffy said after her shock was replaced by surprise.
Merlin looked around the room and nodded happily. "There, that's much better. Your king asked me to train you in the art of magic, but I can see that only two of your party needs the training." He said pointedly looking at Buffy and Faith. "We can start anytime you like, just let me know when you're ready. Oh, and before I forget."
A small silver carriage appeared as Merlin waved his hand, and an older woman wearing a blue robe, and holding a silver wand appeared.
"Hello, I'm the Fairy Godmother. Your king asked me to help, too. I will assist throughout your journey." The Godmother said smiling at the group.
Buffy handed Merlin the book Giles had given the group and looked up at him. "Giles asked us to give this to you."
"Thank you. I don't even know what this book is, myself, in fact it's not even mine. Somehow it found its way into my bag one day. It was such a curious looking book, I asked Giles to repair it for me." Merlin looked around the room, and placed the book on one of the small tables. "Guess I'll put it here for now. You know, this book holds a great secret, do look at it whenever you like. Tell Giles thank you for me... Oh! And about that stone of yours, you should ask the Fairy Godmother about it."
Tara looked surprised and opened her hand to find the stone Clay had given her in her palm, glancing at Merlin she saw him smile.
"Buffy, Faith, why don't you go ahead and practice with Merlin for a while." Willow said and followed Tara over to the Godmother.
"Come children." Merlin said and helped the girls on to the platform -surprising them as it rose into the air to the second level.
"Do you know what this is?" Tara asked handing the stone to the Fairy Godmother.
The Fairy looked at the stone and gasped, "Oh, my. The poor thing! He has turned into a summon gem."
"A what gem?" Willow asked thinking of the Fayth.
The Fairy shook her head smiling. "No, it's not your Fayth. This little fella lived in a world that was consumed by darkness. Understand, that when a world vanishes, so do its inhabitants. But this one had such a strong heart, he became a gem instead of vanishing with his world."
"Can he regain himself?" Tara asked sadly.
The Fairy nodded. "Yes, but only his spirit. Now watch! Bibbity Bobbity Boo!" she said as Tara was surrounded by a bright yellow light, and staggered for a moment.
"You okay, baby?" Willow asked wrapping her arms around Tara's waist.
"Yes, just...its been a while since I've had a merging. Wow! He's powerful!"
"What is it?" Willow asked watching a smile cross Tara's face.
"He says his name is Simba, and he hopes to be of some help."
Donald went wide-eyed as Tara spoke. "Simba!? As in the Lion King of Pride Rock!? I didn't know his world was destroyed..." he said sadly.
"You know him?" Tara asked getting a nod from the guys.
"Yes, well not exactly...you see, we can watch over the other worlds, the king does most of it, but we've seen a few. And Simba's world was one of the worlds Goofy and I got to watch. Simba like his father before him, was a great king, and had his family. It's sad to know that world is gone now."
"If you find anymore of these, you can call on me, and I'll restore their spirit. And don't worry, once their worlds are restored they will return there. Girls, please help save them." The Fairy Godmother said staring into Tara's eyes.
"Don't worry, we will, and that's a promise." Willow said as Tara nodded, and the platform began lowering.
Willow giggled when she saw a worn-out looking Faith -who was holding up a very worn-out Buffy. Merlin smiled and nodded. "These girls are ready...well after they've rested a bit."
"They're ready? It took me a year to learn most spells!" Willow said surprised.
Buffy groaned, as Merlin laughed. "Yes, well, time moved a little faster in the training room. They are not adept, but intermediate."
"Well that's good to know. How do you feel?" Tara asked as both Buffy and Faith slumped to the floor.
"Like a tribe of chocobos just ran me down." Faith said leaning against the wall.
Buffy laid her head in Faith's lap, closing her eyes, "I feel like I've been drug through the mud and back by the same chocobos!"
"Please rest there is no hurry." Merlin said waving his hand summoning a bed for Buffy and Faith, and a couch and two chairs.
Willow shook her head grinning when she saw Buffy look at the beds pleadingly and tried to raise up, only to fall back to the floor. Walking over Willow picked the tired girl up and placed her on the bed, before helping Faith over. Both girls fell asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillows, Donald and Goofy each took a chair -leaving the couch for Willow and Tara.
An hour later found Willow, Tara, Donald and Goofy quietly sleeping, as Merlin worked on a magical text; the Fairy Godmother softly smiled, as she looked over the group.
Glancing at Merlin she sighed thinking back to how Mickey had gotten her out before the world vanished. Merlin had been traveling the worlds -with King Mickey's approval- when his world had vanished, now both the sorcerer and fairy were hoping and praying that these four young women could put a stop to the Heartless.
The Fairy Godmother lowered her head and thinking back to her world, and Cinderella. The Godmother still didn't know what had happened to the young woman, and hoped that she made it to Mickey's castle. Glancing back at Merlin, she knew he felt the same about his young charge Arthur, pushing the bad thoughts out of her mind she looked at the ceiling.
The Godmother could sense the night falling and was loathing to wake the group, but shook her head with a sigh -knowing she had to, or risk losing more worlds. "Merlin, it's time you wake them."
The sound of the Godmother's soft voice startled the old sorcerer into looking up, closing his eyes for a moment he nodded.
"Yes, you're quite right. They need to be leaving, before anymore worlds are destroyed." He said and quietly approached Willow, leaning down he placed his hand on her shoulder, and gave her a soft shake.
"Hmm?" Willow murmured sleepily, before stretching and opening her eyes.
Merlin smiled, thinking this young woman was so much like Arthur, and hoped that the young man was fine, and somewhere safe. "Sorry to wake you, but you should be going."
"You're right." Willow whispered and yawned, before leaving a soft kiss on Tara's lips, as Merlin woke the others.
Once the others were mostly awake, and ready to leave the sorcerer's house Merlin gave the girls a warm smile, "You'd best go see Giles before leaving town, okay?"
"Sure, we'll go see G." Willow said, and smirked just knowing the Giles on the Farplane groaned, as her father laughed.
[On the Farplane]
Giles groaned as Ira laughed. "That girl! And you! It's your fault she calls me that!" Giles shouted at the laughing man.
"So? I still think it's a good nickname. Besides, it's better than her callin' you 'chuckles' in Luca, right?" Ira said wiping the tears from his eyes.
"Boys!" Mythe shouted giggling, "Let's not gripe, okay?" she asked causing Shelia to laugh.
"G?" Merlin asked smiling, as the Fairy Godmother giggled. "I wouldn't let him hear you calling him that." he said chuckling.
"Not to worry, I'm sure I can handle him...and if not I'll sick Buffy on him." Willow smirked and hurried through the door, as Buffy shrieked and chased after her.
"I don't think so! This Giles is scary!" The others heard Buffy shout, just before shrieking again and a loud splash was heard. "Dammit!"
Willow's laugh echoed throughout the area, and was soon joined by Faith's. "What happened, baby? Ya fall in the little pond?" Faith asked as Buffy stepped up on the bank.
"Why you!" Buffy growled and shoved Faith into the small lake. While Willow was too busy laughing Buffy hurried over, and shoved her in.
"Hey! That was uncalled for!" Willow shouted, water running down her face, and glared at Tara, who was giggling.
Glancing at Faith, who nodded, they both walked to the bank and pretended to be shaking the water from their bodies, before approaching the others -who were still laughing.
Smiling or rather smirking, Willow picked up Tara and Donald, as Faith picked up Buffy and shoved Goofy into the water. Goofy laughed as three more splashes were heard, all having screams attached.
"Shouldn't have laughed." Faith said before she jumped into the water, followed by Willow.
Tara glanced at Buffy, and sighed. "You know, we'll have to pay them back, right?" Tara asked as the group began swimming toward the entrance.
"You got it, and I can promise it won't be throwing them into a lake either!" Buffy said narrowing her eyes, as Willow and Faith emerged from the water, and stood near the entrance.