As Buffy guided the ship toward a new destination -a destination that could most likely be the last thing any of them ever saw- Buffy began to think back to her life on Spira. Growing up in the Bikanel Desert, remembering when her sister was born, Sin's attack on Home; the Al Bhed being scattered, her mother bringing everyone together again.
When she'd met Willow for the first time, and watching as she was thrown overboard when Sin attacked. Grabbing Tara from the Shopuf, and having to fight Xander and Willow, and meeting Willow again on the Moonflow shore.
Glory wanting Tara to marry her, fighting Glory in the Macalania Temple, saving Tara at Bevelle and fighing Glory again. Running from Bevelle and through the Calm Lands, and remembering what had happened on Gagazet.
The sadness she felt when they were nearly to Zanarkand, and knowing that was it; Tara would get the Final Aeon and die fighting Sin, just to give Spira a ten year break. She had always hated that men and women had to give their lives just for Spira to be rid of Sin for only ten years.
And then she had found out Tara was a summoner, and she just couldn't stand it. Her cousin, her only cousin was about to die fighting Sin, and she'd never see her. Sure she'd seen her before following from Luca, but Joyce had told her to stay away. And she did.
Buffy had to admit when they fought and defeated Yunalesca she was jumping with joy; Tara wouldn't die. But Willow had disappeared, after defeating Yu Yevon. That was the worst, thinking she'd never see someone she'd come to love as a sister, and then the Aeon's helping to bring her back.
She remembered everything from then, and everything after. She and the others sphere hunting, battling the Aeon's, and finding out there was something even worse in the plans. Defeating Vegnagun on the Farplane, and the night Besaid was destroyed by Omega's goons.
Then she and Faith having that weird dream, and finding out that Tara and Willow had had it also, then meeting Mickey afterwards. Now she was beginning to wonder if they'd ever go on another adventure after this. Those twins were strong, and she didn't know if she and Willow could fight them, and protect their lover's at the same time.
That was making her worry, could she defeat her twin, and protect Faith at the same time? She knew Faith would try and protect her, but she was told not to let that happen. How was she suppose to do that? Hit her lover over the head, and knock her out? Truth be told, Faith would be pissed when she woke! And Buffy certainly didn't want to be on the recieving end of Faith's temper.
What are we going to do? Damn twin. Damn test. This sucks, if we did tell them, they'd only worry, and get hurt trying to stop it. I don't care how pissed Faith gets, I am not gonna tell her! Me an' Will can deal with this, just get those damn twins to see the light is all we have to do. Tara and Faith need not be involved. I know both of us will probably be sleeping outside, but what the hell, I would rather sleep outside than in an empty bed...a bed without Faith.
Although she didn't know it, Willow was having the same thoughts. How was she going to defeat her own twin, and protect the one person who brought light into her life at the same time? She had known Tara was the only person for her as soon as she'd seen her appear in the doorway leading to the Fayth's chamber.
Willow remembered Tara brushing her hair back, as a bead of sweat rolled down the side of her face, and between her breasts. At that moment Willow had wanted so bad just to be that drop of sweat. And now, it looked like she was in danger of losing Tara, again.
When Buffy had told her what would happen to Tara if and when she got the Final Aeon, she had nearly went berserk. Even then she wouldn't have known what to do without the woman she loved, and now, Willow thought she'd join Tara on the Farplane, if not by her own hand, then by letting something else do it for her.
Willow was ready to lay her life on the line just to make sure Tara wasn't hurt, but she knew there was no way Tara would allow that. She'd give her own life to protect Willow, and that was worrying Willow to the brink of madness. She was told not to let Tara protect her, and just how was she suppose to stop her? Willow had seen Tara angry before, and she didn't want it directed at her. Tara was scary as hell when she was pissed.
Tara's gonna be so pissed. But what can I do? If I told her she'd worry, and protect me, and I can't let that happen. Mom said we couldn't let them protect us. And by not telling Tara or Faith, we're protecting them... at least I hope. Damn test, why can't we just have a nice adventure, killing fiends, or Heartless, but nooo there's gotta be a friggin' test involved. And what's with the twins? How are we going to make them see what they should already know? This sucks, Tara'll kick me out of the bed, and possibly the bedroom when she finds out. But she'll eventually calm down, and let me back in...eventually.
Tara glanced around the bridge, Donald and Goofy were being quite as the rested for the battles ahead; Willow was off in her own world, and Buffy was staring off into space not really seeing anything in front of her, or the ship. And that really worried her, both girls were never this quite, they were usually saying how they'd kick the Heartless off the new world, and save it.
But not this time, no, both were quite and both had looks of deep thought on their faces. Now what could they be thinking about, and not telling her, nor Faith? She didn't like this one bit, everytime Willow kept something from her it always meant it was bad. And it must be even worse if Buffy knew, and wasn't telling either.
Catching Faith's eyes, Tara cocked her head silently asking her to follow. When Faith nodded, Tara slowly rose, and saw that she didn't even disturb her lover, and frowned. Usually when she moved, Willow would look up, but not this time. Shaking her head, Tara slipped out the bridge door closely followed by Faith.
"What in hellfire is wrong with them?!" was the first thing out of Faith's mouth when the door closed.
Turning around Tara shrugged, "I have no idea, and it's starting to worry me."
"It's almost like they're worried about something we don't know, and from the looks of things, we're not gonna find out."
"But what could they be keeping from us?" Tara asked leaning against the cool wall, and sighing, "We were together, they couldn't know something we don't."
"What about when they were asleep?" Faith asked causing Tara's head to shoot up, "I mean we've all had dreams, what if they had one, and was told something we weren't?"
Tara nodded, "You're right," she said and began pacing the small hallway, "Okay, so they had a dream, and was told something- something that we don't know. So, what was it? And how bad could it have been?"
"Don't know," Faith shrugged, "But you know them, they wouldn't tell us if it was bad. Just look at Will, she sure as hellfire didn't say anything about being a dream. Not until we we're fighting Yu Yevon."
Tara stopped dead still, as her face paled, "You don't think something like that is going to happen again, do you?"
"What, them disappearing?"
"No," Tara shook her head, and once again leaned against the wall, "What if they were told of a fight; a battle there was no way for them to win?"
"They would tell us!" Faith's shoulders slumped, "No, they wouldn't, they'd keep it hidden until it happened, and got killed!"
"Exactly." Tara frowned, "They wouldn't want us to get hurt if they could stop it."
"Dammit!" Faith growled punching the wall, as Tara slid to the floor, "I don't like this, if they're keeping something like that from us it could be dangerous... Not only to them, but to us, also."
Tara rose from the floor as she ship began to slow, and entered the bridge to find Willow had moved to stand behind Buffy, as they hovered around the new world. A world that Tara could feel the darkness seeping from, and shivered.
Being a white mage had it's advantages and disadvantages, and this was certainly one of the disadvantages. The feeling of that much darkness made her skin crawl, it felt like thousands of little insects crawling under her flesh.
Faith could feel it, too, and it made her shiver. Now that she could cast magic like Willow and Tara, she had began feeling the power, even though she wasn't adept in casting, she still could tell when there was dark magic. And this was darker than Willow and Anya's magic put together.
The same could be said about Buffy she'd felt the darkness crawling on her skin like small bugs as they approached, and she didn't like it. It only made her fear for the worst, and knowing what she and Willow was about to face; Buffy wanted to scream, and just get away from there as fast as she could get the ship to move.
But in doing that she would put more worlds in danger, not to mention Spira. And by every god and goddess, she was not going to do that. She was going to face this head on, and protect everyone she loved.
Willow had felt it before any of the others. It had began as a soft tingle over her body, and slowly became a crawling, and from there it turned into a pulling. She knew the darkness was calling to her own black magic like a siren, and fought down the urge to answer.
Willow was not going to give into any kind of darkness, no matter how much in called. Standing she'd moved behind Buffy, and watched as the new world loomed in front of the ship, as she placed her hand on Buffy's shoulder.
"We're here." Buffy looked up at Willow with dead eyes, and saw Willow's dead gaze as she glanced down.
"Yes, it seems so." Willow's voice was void of emotion; Tara and Faith frowned when they saw Willow squeeze Buffy's shoulder. What was going on? Why were they acting like that? And what did the two of them know that they didn't?
They had finally reached Hollow Bastion, and soon Willow and Buffy would be faced with a test; a test that could most likely kill them. And knew, if they failed, all the worlds and their lovers were doomed to fall to the Heartless.