Return to Final Fantasy X-3 Chapter Twenty-Nine

Final Fantaxy X-3

Author: Stormforce
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: Don't own either series.

After getting a good look at everyone, everyone that is except Tara, Goofy glanced around and was the first to speak, "This place sure is spooky, I bet the people here are spooky-lookin' too." His voice snapped the others out of their dumbfounded thoughts.

Donald shrugged, "We look spooky, too. If they scare us, we'll just scare them right back!" the duck grinned, causing his pumpkin to smile evilly.

"Spooky!? Spooky!?" Buffy shouted franticly, "We look weird!" The Al Bhed stopped and blinked, "No! You look spooky, I look like a freak!" she shouted again, feeling like breaking down and crying, why her? Why did she have to be pink? What had she ever done to deserve being pink!?

Tara reached over and gently squeezed the shorter blonde's shoulder, hoping to calm her down just a little, "Buffy, it'll be alright."

"How can you sa-" Buffy had turned and spoke, only to stop as her eyes went wide.

Up until Tara had turned and placed her hand on Buffy's shoulder, no one but Willow had gotten a real good look at her -and now that they did, their eyes grew just as wide as Buffy's. Faith was known for being, at the very least, somewhat collected, never running from danger, or from anything that was considered scare -she always hit everything head-on. But as soon as she'd laid her eyes on Tara and saw the axe sticking out of her head, she did what any battle-hardened-red-blooded-Spiran would do...she fainted.

The dull "SMACK" of Faith's body hitting the ground at Donald and Goofy's feet didn't seem to disturb them -both were still too busy staring at Tara to care. Neither one could figure out just why in the hell there was an axe sticking out of her head. And neither could say a word, but seeing as their mouths were moving with no sound coming out told anyone watching they lost their voices for the time being.

"Faith?" Tara blinked as she stared at her one time guardian on the ground, and her voice caused a couple of things to happen at the same time. One, Buffy shouted, "Tara! Holy Shiva! Your head!" she grabbed Tara's left arm.

"Oh, baby!" Willow came out of her freaked out haze, "Does it hurt? Shiva, that's gotta hurt!"

Tara for her part didn't know what was wrong with her wife, and cousin, not to mention Faith still laying on the ground -and Donald and Goofy staring at her, "What?"

"Will!" Buffy's frightened eyes turned to her second sister, "Get a potion! She's gonna bleed out if we don't heal her!" her frantic voice worried Tara, but what worried her even more was Willow -who was now trying to make her drink a potion.

Tara shook her head, "I don't want it, I don't need it!" she gently pushed Willow's hands away, and gave the two girls a look, one that said you're both nuts, "Give it to Faith, she's the one laying on the ground!"

Faith groaned, but did not sit up...or even move.

"WHAT!?" Donald finally found his voice, "You got an axe sticking out of your head, and you don't want a potion! You don't want to be healed?!"

Tara blinked, "What are you talking about? I feel fine and there's nothing wrong with my hea-" the blonde stopped as she raised her hand, and felt the axe handle...and went weak in the knees.

"SEE?!" Both Willow and Buffy screeched, "You're bleeding out!"

Faith groaned again, and this time moved, "What in hellfire..." she sat up, then her eyes went wide, "Tara!" in a flash she stood, "Shiva, get a potion!"

"That's it! Stop it!" Tara shouted, "I feel fine." she said more calmly, "Okay, since we all look...odd... This is the way I look, so there's nothing to worry about." the blonde sighed, after knowing it was there, she could feel the axe in her head, and tried not to let it bother her.

After another five minutes of the entire group studying the axe, they moved toward a tall wrought iron gate. The gate creaked as it opened, sending chills down their spines, and they entered into the town square -white ghosts with sharp claws floated around a large guillotine.

An odd looking man stood atop a set of steps, "And now, allow me to introduce the master of terror, the king of nightmares -Jack Skellington!" he shouted, and from a wall a tall and very thin skeleton wearing a pen stripe suit appeared, and waved. The man turned toward the skeleton named Jack and clapped, "Bravo, Jack! Bravo! Those ghosts will be a big hit at this year's Halloween!"

Jack bowed and waved once more, "Thank you, mayor, thank you! But their movement still needs work." He said and glanced towards the dark sky, "It's not scary enough. I want to strike bone-chilling terror. I'm going to consult the doctor." The skeleton waved once more, and hurried off towards a small door, and stepped inside.

The mayor watched Jack leave, and looked around, "Then I'll go attend to the decorations."

"Think we should follow the skeleton?" Faith asked and received nods. The group walked through the same door Jack had disappeared into, and up a flight of stairs.

"I don't understand." Jack said thoughtfully as the group entered the lab, "Maybe the guidance system was damaged in the explosion. What do you think Doctor Finkelstein?"

An odd looking man in a wheelchair moved toward the skeleton, "Nonsense. My devices are always perfect!"

Jack though fro a moment then an idea popped into his head, "Oh, I've got it! Why of course! The Heartless need a heart!" he shouted, "Doctor, do you think we can add a heart to that device?"

The doctor nodded, "Certainly. A heart's not all that complicated. Let's get to work."

Jack picked up a heart with a keyhole, "To make a heart, first take a container with a lock..."

"We need the key to this thing first!" Finkelstein said and looked up at the group in the doorway.

Buffy raised her Keyblade, "You're really gonna unlock it for them?" Donald asked surprised.

"Sure. I mean, why not?" The Al Bhed grinned, "If they succeed, we won't have to fight the Heartless, right? Besides, I want to see the Heartless dance, too. Don't you?"

Donald shuttered, "Not really." he shook his head.

"Oh, well." Buffy shrugged, and commanded the Keyblade. A beam shot toward the keyhole, but nothing happened, causing the group to sigh.

"My! That was amazing! Uh, and you are..." Jack had began off happy enough, but stopped short, he did not know the group. The group introduced themselves, "Well, well done, Buffy. I'd like you girls, Donald and Goofy to be part of this year's Halloween."

"Just what is the Heartless doing here, anyway?" Faith asked as she stared at a Heartless ghost on the metal table.

Jack smiled, "Oh, the Heartless came to town just recently. What's frustrating is I can't get them to dance with me. So the doctor and I are trying to improve the guidance system. He's quite a genius!" As he spoke, Jack became bouncy and excited, then he turned toward Doctor Finkelstein, "Okay, Doctor, let's continue. The ingredients for a heart: Pulse. Emotion. Terror. Fear. Hope and despair. Mix them all together, and we have a heart!"

Doctor Finkelstein moved his electric wheelchair to a lever near the table and activated it; the ghost flopped around a moment, then fell still. "It failed!" Jack sadly spoke as he shook his head.

"Maybe we're missing some ingredients. Let's try adding memory." Doctor Finkelstein opened the lid on his head and touched his brain -freaking the girls out, and causing both Donald and Goofy to shiver. "Sally! Sally! Good-for-nothing girl! Don't know why I bothered creating her!" Finkelstein said as he closed the lid on his head, "Sally's got the memory we need. See if you can track her down."

"No problem." Jack said and turned to the group, "Would you all like to come along?"

Willow nodded, "Sure." she said, they needed to find the keyhole to this world and seal it before the Heartless could get to it -and what better way than to have a guide.

The group followed Jack and exited the Lab, once outside they saw the mayor running toward them, "Jack! Jack! We have a major crisis! The Heartless are completely out of control! We can't stop them!" He shouted as he tried to catch his breath.

The skeleton looked thoughtful for a moment, then snapped his fingers, "Hmm... Maybe our experiment triggered something. Everything will be fine, Mayor. You have nothing to worry about."

As the mayor ran off, back to the safety of his home, the girls glanced around the square, "Where to, Jack?" Tara asked as she tried to feel for the darkness.

"Well," Jack pointed towards a small alcove to their right, "The Graveyard is that way, so that would be the best place to start looking."

"Alright, to the Graveyard it is." Willow said and stepped in front taking the lead, with Faith right beside her.

Continue to Final Fantasy X-3 Chapter Thirty-One

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