Disclaimer: I don't own Winx Club.

Stella and Brandon finally had some leads to follow. They knew where to find the game masters, so they needed to do was to rest up and prepare for the attack.

They woke up, did the usual refresher charm and explored the forest in hopes of finding food.

"So once we've gotten full rest, and once I get my powers back, then we can attack?" asked Stella. She didn't want to wait any longer. All she wanted to do was get out of this jungle.

"Yeah." answered Brandon. "If we barge in when we're not fully prepared and rested, or when you're defenseless, we might as well wave the white flag and surrender."

Stella nodded. Something was weighing heavy in her heart.

"Do you think they miss us?" she asked. "Are they trying to find us?"

Brandon didn't need to ask who. Stella was talking about their friends and family.

He sighed. "I'm sure they are doing their best to find us." he answered.

"It's been weeks." said Stella.

"Don't forget that there is dark magic keeping us here, so it must also be keeping them out." said Brandon.

"Yeah I guess." said Stella. She was saddened by the realization that they really were on their own.

"Hey, we'll get through this." said Brandon.

Stella smiled at Brandon, making his heart leap out of his chest.

"Where the hell could they be?" raged Sky.

"I don't know. I've been boosting the tracking systems and upgrading all the systems around the realm." answered Timmy. He was hard at work with many computers.

"I've also been reprogramming location spells to try to get a read on them." said Tecna.

The Winx and Specialists were in the Red Fountain computer room, desperately searching for their missing friends.

The girls were all really upset about it, and the guys tried their best to comfort them. Some were more successful than others.

"Flora, it's okay. We'll find them. I promise." said Helia, desperate to lift Flora's spirits.

"Please. What an empty promise." scoffed Riven, earning him a sharp jab from Musa.

"What? I'm just facing reality. You can't make promises like that." said Riven.

"You also can't make remarks like that." said Musa. She, too, was extremely upset, but she tried to be strong. She turned away and walked out of the room, making it seem like she was just sick of the room. Really, she was about to have a breakdown, but she didn't want anyone else to see. However, Riven saw through her act.

Riven went after her to find her braced against the wall. His earlier tough guy act dissolved away in seconds.

"You're worried." he said gently.

"No I'm not." said Musa. She felt strong arms wrap around her. She was shocked by this. Riven was never one to show affection in public. They were with the rest of their friends right now.

"Yes you are." he said right next to her ear. He bowed his head down to kiss her on her shoulder.

Musa didn't say a word.

Riven sighed. "I'm sorry I was insincere. I'm worried too, you know."

Musa turned around to face him. "Okay fine! I'm worried. They both disappeared, and it's been weeks."

"Hey, as much as I hate to admit it, Brandon is the best specialist out of the whole school—aside from myself of course." smirked Riven. He then saw the look Musa was giving him. "He can handle himself out there." he added hastily.

"Yeah, but what about Stella?" asked Musa.

"Stella can hold her own." said Riven. He had never personally met the Princess of Solaria, but he had heard stories about her. True, those stories were not for younger audiences, but he also heard other stories as well. He knew she was a fighter. The entire Winx Club was made up of fighters.

"I guess you're right." said Musa. She didn't like feeling like this. Worry was eating away her every sane thought.

"Hey, look at me." said Riven. He lifted Musa's chin up with his hand. "They'll be fine."

"Promise?" asked Musa, smiling and taunting him about what he had said earlier.

Riven smirked. "Promise." he said. He then lowered his head down to capture Musa in a kiss.

"I still can't get a read on them!" said Tecna, slouching down in frustration.

"Then try again, or do something else!" commanded Sky, though his teeth. He knew he shouldn't let his frustration show, but his best friend was missing.

"Hey, don't talk to Tecna like that." said Timmy.

Tecna shot his a grateful smile that made Timmy's heart skip a beat.

"Yeah, Sky. Why don't you do something?" taunted Layla, earning a glare from Bloom.

"Don't talk to him like that!" shouted Bloom.

"He's the one who's shouting! He's treating Tecna here like a worker, and he's yelling at her to do more! What has he done?" yelled Layla.

Musa and Riven had just entered the room. Seeing the fight that was about to ensue, Musa gave Riven a pleading look. Understanding what she wanted him to do, Riven decided to take action.

"HEY! Knock it off!" ordered Riven.

No one dared to make a sound after that.

"You!" he pointed at Sky. "Treat Tecna with more respect. She's not one of your servants' back at your palace."

Sky looked down, ashamed at the way he's acting.

"And you two!" he pointed at Layla and Bloom. "Calm down! Fighting won't solve anything. We're trying to find Brandon and Stella. We're not trying to fight over something stupid."

Layla and Bloom apologized to each other.

"I'm sorry Layla. I'm just really worried about Stella." said Bloom.

"Me too. I'm sorry I snapped. It's just a really stressful situation." said Layla.

They smiled at each other and gave each other a comforting hug.

"And you too Sky. I'm sorry." said Layla.

"No hard feelings." said Sky.

"I know we're all high strung over our missing friends, but we have to think like normal people. We all can't go crazy or else we'll never find them." growled Riven.

Everyone nodded.

Musa bit back a smirk. She sure loved having Riven on her side.

Brandon and Stella were heading to the house of the game controllers. They wanted to survey the area and find weak points in its defenses.

They were walking when Stella felt the all too familiar feeling of her powers draining.

"Brandon…wait…" Stella was panting with exhaustion and nausea.

God I hate having my powers drained she thought.

Brandon turned around to see Stella using her knees to support herself.

He quickly bounded to her side. Good thing too, because as soon as he got near her, Stella collapsed.

"Stell!" he cried. He didn't know what was going on. He caught her just as she was about to hit the ground. He was supporting her weight while trying to shake her back to consciousness.

Is it her injury? I thought she healed it. What's happening? He thought frantically.

"Damn it" she swore as she came to.

"What is it?" asked Brandon.

"My powers are gone again." said Stella.

Brandon let out a deep breath. She was okay. Well, not okay, but at least she wasn't hurt.

"I need to learn how to block their control of my powers." said Stella. She was so frustrated. They were this close to finally ending things, and she goes and loses her powers.

What am I going to do? she thought. I really have to learn to control it so I'll be able to block off their command of my powers.

"We'll work on it." assured Brandon. "Now c'mon let's head back to camp. It's dangerous to be exposed like this without protection and magic."

Stella nodded and they headed back to their campsite.

While Brandon was building a campfire, Stella was hard at work, thinking of ways to regain control of her powers.

What is helping them control my powers? she thought.

Brandon sat down next to her. Her concentration slipped a little bit due to her close proximity to Brandon.

"Any progress?" he asked.

Stella sadly shook her head.

"Hey, we'll find a way through this." he said.

"Yeah?" she asked.

"Yeah." said Brandon.

He stared deep into her eyes and got lost in them.

She's so beautiful he thought.

"So tell me about Red Fountain." asked Stella. She noticed the silence, and she didn't know what to do about it, so she changed the subject.

"Huh?" asked Brandon. He was so lost in his thoughts about Stella he hadn't heard what she said.

"I said tell me about Red Fountain." repeated Stella.

Brandon sighed. He put off talking about his life back on Magix because ever since he figured out Stella was the Princess of Solaria, he knew his shots of having a relationship with her were close to none.

He was a simple squire. Sure, he was getting promoted to head commander and knight soon, but it still wasn't the same. He didn't think he measured up. Since he realized he loved her, he had unsuccessfully tried to quell his feelings. He didn't even know the effect he had on Stella.

"I mean, you don't have to if you don't want to." said Stella, misreading his facial expression.

"What? No it's not that." said Brandon.

"Then what is it?" asked Stella, gently. She rested a hand tentatively on Brandon's arm.

He almost melted at her touch and told her about his past. Hell, he'd pick a fight with a Minotaur for her.

"I went to Red Fountain on scholarship. I was there to get an education but more importantly, to protect the Prince of Eraklyon." he paused, waiting for Stella's reaction.

"So you're like, a squire?" she asked. She's never dated non-royalty before. It wasn't completely against the rules per se, but it was frowned upon.

Brandon nodded his head. "I guess that changes your opinion of me right?" he asked.

He immediately regretted asking that once he saw how offended Stella looked.

"Wait no! I didn't mean it like that!" he said.

"You really think I'm that shallow?" said Stella. She was crushed. Stella thought Brandon was the type of guy who didn't judge people. She thought Brandon thought of her as a person; a humble person and not a stuck up princess like most people think.

She got up from her seat and started pacing. She couldn't sit still anymore. All she wanted to do was to get away and have some time to herself.

"No! Let me explain!" pleaded Brandon. He saw the hurt in Stella's eyes, and it just about drove a knife through his heart. He got up and followed her, trying to get her to stand still and look him in the eyes for him to explain.

I keep hurting her! Damn it! he swore.

"I thought you were different! You really think of me like that?" said Stella. She couldn't believe it. Brandon was the last person she thought would use her rank against her.

"What I'm trying to say is that I don't feel like I'm good enough for you!" yelled Brandon.

"And why not? Why would you ever have to consider whether or not you're good enough for me?" yelled Stella.

"Because I love you!" shouted Brandon. He froze.

Stella stopped mid breath.

"Yo—You what?" gasped Stella once she found her voice. A billion thoughts were racing through her head, but her emotions were rejoicing. She almost didn't believe it. Hell, she still didn't believe it.

"I'm in love with you Stella." said Brandon.

No he doesn't love me! How could he love me? thought Stella.

"Look, if this is some sick joke, then I think it's really mean, and it should stop right now." said Stella.

"You think this is a joke?" asked Brandon. He was taken aback.

"Yeah. What else could make sense?" asked Stella.

Brandon made his way closer to her. He stopped right in front of her, only a few inches away from her.

"Why would me loving you be a joke." asked Brandon, gently. He put his hand against Stella's cheek.

Stella leaned into his hand. "Because I don't feel like I measure up to you." she said.

Brandon frowned. "Why would you have to think that?"

"Because I love you too." whispered Stella. It was almost inaudible, but Brandon still heard it.

Brandon's heart almost jumped out of his chest.

Brandon's smile was so wide it looked like it hurt. If it did, he didn't notice it, nor did he care.

"What was that?" smiled Brandon. "I didn't catch what you said."

Stella laughed and playfully shoved him. "I said I love you, you jerk."

Brandon laughed along. He had never felt so happy in his entire life. He couldn't believe it.

She loves me! he thought.

He hugged her tight and kissed her shoulder.

Stella felt giddy chills as she felt his lips against her shoulder.

"I love you." he murmured into her ear.

He looked at her and leaned in.

Stella closed her eyes and drifted closer to him.

They pressed their lips together, capturing them in a kiss.

They pulled apart and rested their foreheads against each other.

Stella smiled. "Since when?" she asked, implying when he fell in love with her.

"Since the very beginning." answered Brandon.

Stella looked confused.

"Here, let me explain." said Brandon. He sat down on the ground, leaning against their log chair.

Stella sat in between his legs and leaned back against him with his arms around her.

This feels right thought Brandon as he held Stella in his arms.

"I've always been the flirt when I was at Red Fountain. My freshman year, I made a challenge to date all of the fairies at Alfea." he started.

"Yeah I heard you were pretty much a Don Juan." laughed Stella. It bothered her that Brandon made his way around, but she tried to brush it off.

"Yeah I'm not especially proud of it, but hey, it's in the past." said Brandon.

"Did you ever meet your goal?"

Brandon laughed and shook his head.

"Gasp! Brandon did not meet his goal to date every fairy at Alfea." joked Stella.

"Well, word did get around about my motives, so I couldn't get every single girl." said Brandon.

Stella then realized something. "How come you never tried to date me?" she asked. "When was it that you realized you liked me?"

"I was getting to that." said Brandon.

Stella waited.

"I thought you were too out of my league." said Brandon, sheepishly. "I had never seen anyone so beautiful."

"Brandon the school player thought someone was out of his league?" teased Stella.

Brandon laughed. "No seriously. You're a Princess, and I'm a squire."

"But you've dated the other princesses at Alfea." Stella pointed out.

"But none as beautiful as you." said Brandon, making Stella blush.

"I really hope you know that I don't care about rank." said Stella.

If Stella should have said anything, that was what she should have said. Brandon was overjoyed.

"You really don't care that I'm just a squire?" said Brandon. He couldn't believe it. All this time he was beating himself up for not being born into a higher family, and Stella didn't care!

"No. I care that you are you and no one else. You could even have nothing to do with royalty and I would still feel the same way about you." said Stella.

Brandon smiled. "Oh and if it helps, I'm getting promoted to head knight and commander soon." he said in a bragging tone.

"My hero. I'm so proud." joked Stella. She rolled her eyes and gave him a kiss.

Brandon returned the kiss eagerly.

The sun had gone down and the sky darkened. The Moon and stars illuminated the forest.

"It's getting late. We should go to sleep." said Stella.

Brandon agreed. They lay next to each other in their makeshift bed.

Brandon wrapped Stella in his arms.

"Goodnight Stell." he murmured.

"Goodnight hero." replied Stella, making Brandon smile.

They fell asleep in each other's arms.

Brandon groggily opened his eyes. He smiled when he saw Stella fast asleep next to him.

He looked up and judging by the sun's position, it was late morning.

"Hey Stell. Wake up." he said gently, while shaking her shoulders slightly.

"No…five more minutes mom." groaned Stella.

Brandon laughed.

"Come on Stell. Wake up." continued Brandon.

Stella finally opened her eyes and slowly sat up.

"Morning sunshine." grinned Brandon.

Stella smiled, remembering the events of the previous night.

"Morning you." she said.

Brandon kissed her, and she felt like the happiest girl in the whole dimension.

Stella got up and stretched.

"Let's go wash up." she said.

Brandon nodded followed her to the creek.

Stella only took off her main clothing articles, so she wasn't fully nude.

As Stella poured water on herself, Brandon could not help but marvel at her beauty.

Stella looked over to him.

"Staring at me are we now?" she smirked, even though she was as equally dazed by Brandon's shirtlessness.

Brandon felt the heat rise in his cheeks.

"What? Psh no." he said, trying to play it off.

Stella laughed and continued what she was doing, sneaking glances over at Brandon while he was doing the same to her.

When they finished, they walked back to the camp together.

"So I've been thinking of ways to try to regain control of my powers." said Stella.

"Yeah? Any of them work so far?" asked Brandon.

"Well, I haven't really tried any yet. They're just ideas that I was thinking of before I fell asleep last night." said Stella.

"Okay. We'll try them out when we get back to camp." said Brandon.

"So there was this one option that stood out to me." said Stella as she sat down.

"Yeah? What is it?" asked Brandon, taking a seat next to Stella.

"Well, I have this feeling that they are somehow blocking my powers. You know, like trapping them behind a barrier." said Stella.

"Continue…" said Brandon. He was starting to see where Stella was going.

"Well I was thinking that if I could somehow force my magic through that barrier, I would regain control of my powers." finished Stella.

Brandon thought about it, and it seemed plausible.

"Okay. How are we going to test it out?" asked Brandon.

"I'm going to really focus and try to access some of my magic. Hopefully once I get enough practice, I could shatter the wall in the process." explained Stella.

Brandon nodded in agreement.

They sat across from each other and Stella concentrated really hard. Brandon found her expression adorable.

"Okay so I'm going to try to create a sun beam." said Stella.

"Go for it." encouraged Brandon.

Stella closed her eyes and tried to go deep within her mind and inner core. She felt some kind of wall preventing her from accessing her magic. She opened her eyes and gasped.

"I was right!" she exclaimed. "There's some sort of barrier blocking me from my magic."

She closed her eyes again and went back to the wall. She desperately tried to find a weak spot. To her joy and relief, there was a small crack in the wall. She pushed harder and got some magic to flow through her.

Brandon's eyes widened as he saw the beam of light surround them, like a waterfall of sunlight.

Then it was gone. Stella opened her eyes, breathless. One bad part of doing this was that every time she lost her grip on her magic, that same weakening and nauseating feeling of losing her magic consumed her. It wasn't a pleasant feeling.

"Are you okay?" asked Brandon. He was concerned over her pale and ashen face.

"Yeah. I just need some time to catch my breath." said Stella.

As soon as her breathing returned to normal, Stella explained what happened.

"There was a weak point in the barrier, so I was able to access some of my magic." she said.

"Yeah I saw." said Brandon, remembering the sun beam.

"But I lost it." said Stella. "I couldn't break through the barrier."

"It was only you're first attempt. You'll get better in time." assured Brandon.

"But we don't have time." said Stella.

"We can make time." said Brandon. "Let's try it again."

"Okay." said Stella.

She closed her eyes again and found her way to the barrier separating her from her magic.

They continued practicing for what seemed like hours to Stella but in fact was only about one hour.

"Whew!" exclaimed Stella as she sat down. "I'm exhausted."

"You did great Stell!" congratulated Brandon.

"Thanks." said Stella. "I'm a lot more familiar with the barrier now."

"Let's go get some water for you to cool down." said Brandon.

"Yeah that sounds great." said Stella.

They got up and started walking to the fresh stream.

Stella was walking next to Brandon when out of nowhere, he suddenly put an arm out in front of her, halting her and knocking the wind out of her.

"Oomph!" Stella huffed. "What the hell ar—"

Brandon held up a finger to his lips. He was tense and alert.

Brandon was sure he heard footsteps and whispers. He positioned Stella closer to him and pulled out his broadsword.

Nothing happened.

"I think you're just a little stressed. Can't blame you really." said Stella.

Brandon still didn't relax. His hero training taught him otherwise.

"I don't hear anything." continued Stella.

She walked away from him sending him into a panic mode.

"Stella get back here!" he whisper-yelled.

"I'm telling you. Nothing's here—"Stella was stopped short by a dagger whishing right in from of her face, missing her by mere millimeters. she felt the wind of it, and she heard the sound of the wind whistle by her face.

Brandon's eyes widened, and he frantically looked at Stella hoping she was okay. He felt better when he saw that she didn't have any physical injury. She was only shaken up a little bit.

Then, crowds of angry women with weapons burst in around them, surrounding them.

"DIE BITCH!" yelled one of them at Stella.

Stella, having no powers, was helpless. Brandon was busy fighting for his own life. Stella then saw a fallen tree branch, roughly the size of a club, on the ground a few yards away.

She acted immediately. She ran and dove at the ground, grabbed the branch and fought the swords aiming at her body.

Stella looked over at Brandon, and to her horror, she saw a sword being thrown at his back while he was busy fighting people in front of him.

Stella was too far to run and deflect it, and she knew Brandon didn't have a chance of turning around.

"No!" she shouted. She felt herself glowing, and she felt the barrier in her mind shatter into a million pieces as she willed herself to reach her magic.

An energy ball shot from her hands, knocking the sword out of its trajectory.

Brandon's eyes were wide when he realized how close he came to death.

Stella was bathed in sunlight energy and she was floating.

"SOLAR BLAST!" she yelled.

Brandon shielded his eyes from the blinding sunlight that knocked out all of their enemies.

After a few seconds, Stella returned to the ground and looked around her. All of their enemies were unconscious on the ground. A few yards away from her, she saw Brandon, healthy and whole.

"I did it!" she exclaimed, smiling wide and skipping over to Brandon.

Brandon laughed at her childish nature.

"You did great!" he said, giving her a kiss.

When they pulled apart, a little breathless, Stella looked at him and said, "Let's end this once and for all."

Brandon nodded, and they set off to the headquarters of the game controllers.

After a few minutes, the little house came to view.

They heard some muffled voices, and Stella shot down the door with a sunburst.

The door flew off of its hinges to reveal two people in a room.

Stella and Brandon gasped.