After Ariel had swam away from her grotto, she knew that her father was most possibly at that very moment, destroying everything she held close to her heart. She knew he would be angry, but she'd never seen him that angry, and it scared her.
Was she a bad daughter, for again disobeying him, and leaving the palace? Was he a bad father for trying to make her stay somewhere she didn't want to? Or it could have just been, he was trying to protect her from things she still didn't know, and understand.
Her tears fell to the ocean floor as she sat down on a small three-foot tall boulder, and silently cried her heart out. Somewhere on the surface a cloud passed in front of the sun, and darkening the the spot Ariel was sitting.
Unknown to the young mermaid she was being watched by Jetsam and Flotsam, who in turn was recieving orders from their mistress.
"My, my, the poor child suffers such deep sorrow." Jetsam said in a rough voice as he and the other eel appeared.
Ariel ignored the two eels that were swimming around her, and continued to cry. On the their second pass the mermaid looked up, and saw them looking at her.
"What a pity. If only there were something we could do..." Flotsam trailed off and looked at his brother.
"Wait." Jetsam smiled showing two rows of sharp teeth. "Maybe she can be of some help to you."
Ariel sniffled and stopped crying, "Who're you talking about?"
"Oh, yes, she will surely help you." Jetsam nodded.
"Yes, she'd make all your dreams come true." Flotsam smiled as he and Jetsam formed together.
Ariel covered her eyes as a bright light lit up the area, when she looked again Ursula was floating in front of her, and gently smiling.
"You're Ursula?" Ariel asked and saw the octopus woman nod. "I was just wondering if-"
"It's all right." The sea witch interupted. "Helping othrs is what I live for." she said and sat beside Ariel. "Let me guess, you wish to see other worlds. That shouldn't bee too hard. After all, your new friends are from another world."
"Yes, child, they are. But they had special help from that mysterious key."
"I don't understand." Ariel looked confused for a moment, and thought about the only 'key' the girls had were their weapons.
"Now, now. Cheer up, sweetie. For you see, you too, have something special."
"Now listen carefully." Ursula said and let an evil smile cross her face when Airel looked toward the ocean floor.
Willow was bloody and pissed. And she was wondering just how in the hell blood could still linger on her body, even with them in the water! After Triton had left Ariel's grotto the group had took off in search for the runaway mermaid. The first couple of thousand feet had been easy, and after that the Heartless fish creatures, and jellyfish appeared, and kept appearing. The group would kill off three and four of the creature, only to have another group appear.
It had been the fourth group of Heartless that had appeared when Buffy had been thrown into a stone wall cracking her head open. Tara had hurriedly swam over casting a healing spell as she went and protected the Al Bhed girl until she woke.
Faith had growled, sounding so much like Willow, it had scared Goofy who swam off toward a jellyfish, just to get away from her. Willow watched Faith speed toward the fish creature that'd knocked Buffy into the wall, and took it out with just one swipe of her blade.
Twisting her body, Willow let a Flare spell fly toward the octopus Heartless that was trying to sneak up behind her. The octopus had flown toward Donald, who waited for just the right moment and released the Thundaga spell he'd been holding back. They heard it pop and saw it disappear, and heard another three pops, and turned. Goofy had taken out another jellyfish, Faith had thrust her blade into one of the last two fish creatures, and Tara and Buffy had killed the last one.
Thinking the fighting was over for the moment Willow began swimming toward Tara and Buffy, when Donald suddenly flew by her. It was then Willow knew she'd made the mistake of letting her guard down too soon, and joined Donald in speeding forward, and slammed into the same stone wall Buffy had -only she'd hit a sharp jagged spot, and ripped her side open.
She bared her teeth as she turned, and first thrust her right hand out, quickly followed by her left. Two Flare spells hit the giant Heartless fish ripping it open, as a loud pop echoed across the area.
Now, as she held her side Willow watched as Tara sped toward her and felt the warmth of a Curaga spell roll over her body, healing her wound, and mending her cracked ribs. She smiled when Tara wrapped her arms around her waist, in a tight embrace.
No matter how many times they ran into different twins, and no matter how many times any of Tara's twins kissed her, she knew none of them would ever come close to her own lover.
Buffy eyed Donald, and tossed him a Potion when she saw his bloody beak. For now, the area was calm and quiet, and they were thanking their lucky stars for it. Faith sighed and shook her head glancing around, even though they'd only been just a little ways from the grotto at first didn't matter anymore, now they were out of site of the small cave -and still no sign of Ariel.
Buffy floated on her back and stared upwards at the surface as the area went dark from a cloud covering the sun, "Maybe we should head back to the palace... Ariel might have gone back."
"I agree. For some reason this doesn't feel right." Faith once again glaced around the area, "After having to fight off that many Heartless, I would think they'd just keep coming."
Goofy nodded, "You're right, they would."
"If you can get the two lovers apart, we can go." Donald jerked his thumb over his shoulder at the now liplocked Willow and Tara. "I swear that's all they ever do!"
"Well, atleast they're not like any of the twins...well, Will and B were like their ape twins." Faith teased, getting a glare from Buffy.
"Hey! I resent that!" Willow shouted pulling away from Tara and narrowing her eyes at Faith.
"She's right, sweetie, you really were." Tara giggled when her lover growled.
"Whatever." Buffy sighed, "Come on, let's check the palace out...and hopefully not run into out twins."
The group began swimming toward the palace, unknown to them was Ariel leading Ursula to the palace at that very moment.
The sea witch stopped just outside the palace gates and smiled at Ariel, "I think the Keyhole your friends seek is somewhere in the palace. If you can take me there without your daddy know, I can help you get to those other worlds you long for, my dear."
"Okay, follow me." Ariel said and led the way.
Jetsam and Flotsam were swimming behind their mistress and smiled evilly as Ariel led them into the throne room. Seeing as they were the only ones in the room the two eels began circling the room, as Ursula grinned and grabbed the trident.
"At last! The trident is mine!" The witch laughed, and turned toward Ariel, "And I couldn't have done it without your help."
Ariel backed up looking horrified, "Ursula, no! I didn't want this!"
"And why not? Aren't you sick of following your dear daddy's orders? Oh, yes. We had a deal, didn't we? Well, it's time for a little journey to the dark world of the Heartless." Ursula pointed the trident at Ariel, but stopped when her two eels swam in front of her.
"We cannot fine the Keyhole." Jetsam said and swam behind the witch.
"It is not here." Flotsam growled.
"What?!" The witch screamed just as Willow and the others sped into the room. "Looks like we have company, but I'm afraid you're a little too late!" she laughed and disappeared.
Triton slowly swam into the room looking pale, and sat on his throne. "Daddy!" Ariel screamed swimming over to the king of the seas.
"The trident... We must get it back."
"We'll get it back." Tara said and turned. "Come on."
"Wait! I'm going with you! My father is hurt and it's all my fault." Ariel hung her head, "I have to stop Ursula."
"Okay, but please be careful." Buffy said and recieved a firm nod.
"That's right. I'm behind you, Ariel." Sebastian swam up and perched on the mermaid's shoulder.
Triton raise up and looked the group over for a moment, "Listen, Ursula draws power from her cauldron. To defeat her, you must strike the cauldron with magic."
"Got it, and don't worry, we'll bring your trident back safely." Willow said and followed Ariel out of the throne room.
Ariel led the group back to the sunken ship and poked her head out of the opening, not seeing the shark anywhere she swam out, and waited. Once the group was in front of her, she pointed to a large boulder.
"To get to Ursula's Lair we have to move that rock, and enter through the Den of Tides." Willow nodded and with Faith's help tried to push the boulder aside. After five minutes the two girls gave up and glared at Sebastian when he pressed a small gray button, causing the boulder to move on its own.
"Why didn't you do that in the first place?" Faith asked with anger lacing her voice.
"I didn't think you needed the help." Sebastian smiled and sat back on Ariel's shoulder.
The group swam into the opening and through three more tunnels before stopping at a large skull like entrance.
"This is it. Is everyone ready?" Willow asked gripping her blade and saw the others nod. "All right, let's go."
Donald swam ahead of the group and stopped a few feet away from the cauldron, "Come out! You can't run from us!"
"Your time has come!" Sebastian shouted.
Ursula appeared and frowned at the group, causing Buffy to back up, "Damn! A face only a mother could love!" Ursula narrowed her eyes at the Al Bhed girl and shot a blast from the trident.
Buffy dodged the to right and hit Flotsam with her blade, Goofy spun into Jetsam knocking him into the sea witch. Willow, Tara, and Donald began glowing as each let a powerful spell fly, and hit the cauldron. The greenish cauldron cracked and shook but didn't break, seeing they needed more time, Buffy and Faith swam forward and began attacking Ursula.
Another set of spells hit the cauldron and broke it down the middle, just as both Buffy and Faith's blades hit the sea witch knocking her into the wall. Ariel spun around and slapped Ursula with her tail. "That's for tricking me!" Ursula screamed when Sebastian clamped down on one of her tentacles.
"That's for stealing the trident!" Sebastian laughed and snapped at the witch again.
A burst from the trident sent everyone flying into the back wall as Ursula rose, "You'll pay for this!" she shouted and hurriedly swam away.
"Let's go. We must get the trident back!" Ariel said and followed the sea witch with the others right behind her.