Chapter 2

Willow and Tara looked around the library for Gertrude Arrowhead. When they couldn’t find her, they walked to the information desk and stood in front of a teenage boy. He looked like he was about to fall asleep in front of a catalog of books.

"Excuse me," Willow politely said, "Can you tell us where we can find Ms. Arrowhead?"

The teenager grunted and lazily pointed in the direction of the back room. He muttered, "She wandered over there."

"Thank you," Tara answered uneasily. The teenager grunted again and looked back towards the list of books he was reading before the women had interrupted him.

Willow shrugged at Tara as they toddled in the direction they were just told. As Tara looked ahead and saw the entrance to the storage room, she whispered, "I wonder what that door leads to...." A few steps later, they reached the door and Willow replied, "There’s only one way to find out!" She turned the handle and they crept inside, closing the door behind them.

There was a bright light illuminating the back corner of the small room. Willow and Tara exchanged glances and slowly moved towards the light. As they turned the corner, they saw Ms. Arrowhead with her hand on top of a blonde girl’s shoulder. They were standing in front of a small door that didn’t appear to lead to the area behind the library. Willow put her hand on Tara’s arm to get her attention and mouthed, "What’s going on?"

Tara was about to open her mouth when Annabelle was pulled down through the doorway. A scream pierced the silence and Tara and Willow rushed to the open door. When they saw a dark figure carrying the blonde girl away, they both turned to the librarian for answers. She was sobbing.

"That wasn’t supposed to happen," she moaned between tears.

Willow gently asked, "What’s going on?"

Gertrude looked to Willow and Tara and recognized goodness emanating from the two. Based on these intuitive feelings, she felt comfortable filling the women in on the situation. She held back tears as she explained, "Annabelle, the girl you saw here a moment ago, does not belong to this world. She was born here, yes, but was only supposed to stay for ten years to experience our world first. It is her destiny to rejoin her parents and take her place as a princess in Litefaray, a land of fairy tales. What is through this door is the land I speak of. Annabelle had her tenth birthday recently, and this entrance appeared to me a few days ago. Today there was to be a carriage down below to pick her up and bring her home.

"However, as you probably witnessed, something took Annabelle before the carriage arrived. Please, is there any way that you can help her get home?"

Willow and Tara excused themselves to discuss the circumstances.

"What are you thinking Willow?" Tara inquired.

"I know that if Buffy were here, she wouldn’t hesitate to help save a young girl from evil," Willow resolutely stated. Her heart skipped a beat and her throat tightened at the thought of her best friend. Since Buffy wasn’t alive anymore, Willow felt an obligation to try to do what Buffy would. Tara noticed Willow’s change in demeanor and instinctively took her girlfriend’s hand.

"We’ll both save her," Tara said in agreement.

The two witches turned back to Ms. Arrowhead and informed her of their decision. Gertrude profusely thanked the women and told them how to enter Litefaray: "After you two jump through this door, you will feel a bit lightheaded, but land safely on the other side. From what I know, there is a chance that you will be unconscious on the ground. However, that chance is very small. When you arrive, there will be a driver with a white carriage to take you to the palace. He is expected to bring Annabelle home, but I’m sure he will understand why you two are there instead."

Willow and Tara nodded to let Ms. Arrowhead know that they understood. She warned them to be careful before wishing them luck. Willow and Tara each squeezed the other’s hand, closed their eyes, and jumped through the door.


A few seconds passed before Willow and Tara hit the ground. Both were unconscious...

Tara opened her eyes first. She slowly got up and looked around. After she remembered where she was, she turned her attention to Willow, who was lying on the ground with her eyes closed. Tara called Willow’s name, but when she didn’t respond, Tara panicked. She rushed to Willow’s side and shook her to try to wake her up.

About ten seconds later, Willow’s eyes fluttered open. She blinked a couple of times and focused on Tara’s face hovering over hers.

"Goddess, if this is what a fairy tale is like, I’m glad...." Tara didn’t let her finish. She smiled broadly and hugged Willow as she helped her get up.

"I-I w-was worried," Tara stuttered.

Willow’s voice changed to a sympathetic tone. "Oh, Tara. I’m strong like an Amazon, remember?" Willow smiled and winked, "You told me that."

Willow took Tara’s hand as they both took in the scenery. To their right, a rabbit hopped near a patch of flowers. Willow smirked as she remarked, "If Anya were here...." Tara turned to her and they shared a laugh. The ex-demon would have screamed out of fear of the small animal.

Interrupting them was the sound of a horse-drawn carriage coming in their direction. The driver pulled the reins on the two horses in front of him as the carriage pulled to a stop.

"Willow Rosenberg and Tara Maclay?" the driver asked them.

Willow and Tara’s eyes both went wide as they both asked, "How did you know?"

"I have my sources," he replied with a grin. The tall, dark-haired driver swiftly stepped down and opened the carriage door for the two women. Willow got in first as Tara followed her; the door was closed behind them.

"To the palace then," the man shouted from the front of the carriage. He then snapped the reins and the horses moved forward, starting Tara and Willow on their adventure.

"I feel like Cinderella going to the ball!" Willow cheerfully exclaimed. She linked her left hand with Tara’s as Tara giggled. A moment later, Tara fell silent and rested her head on Willow’s shoulder.

"I wonder if we’re prepared enough to do this," Tara wondered out loud. In response, Willow squeezed Tara’s right hand and optimistically declared, "We can kick evil butt anytime!"

Tara lifted her head up and looked at her girlfriend in admiration. Willow gently kissed her forehead and smiled before directing her attention out the window. Tara mimicked Willow’s gaze as they both watched a blur of blue and green constantly pass before their eyes.

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