A figure stood on a section of night covered high ground, overlooking a large waterfall with many different colored flowers growing beside the small stream at the bottom. The large samurai sword strapped across his back shined as a small ball of light floated by, causing its greenish reflection to light up the man's back. The man's face lit up showing a scar running down the side of his face, as another small ball of light floated by, this time red in color.
A set of light footsteps caused the man to turn, and nod to the approaching female figure. The woman stepped beside the man, and glanced out over the landscape to the waterfall, before cutting her eyes to the side, "I must thank you for what you have done." She said and received a nod in reply.
"There is no need, my lady, but if I must, may I ask a question?"
"Yes, what is it you wish to know?"
"Why did you ask me to test the girls?" The man asked turning toward the woman, "I mean, you could have asked any of the others to do it, so, why me?"
"Because, you yourself had at one time been touched by evil, and I knew you could withstand that realm. Plus I knew you would not let any harm come to the girls." The woman smiled, "But tell me this, did they recognize you?"
"No," he shook his head, "The realm we were in had no use for speech of any kind, and as I spoke, my voice echoed throughout the realm. That did not allow them to even guess as to whom I was, and I do believe they were more worried about the others more then themselves."
The woman nodded, "That would be just like them, don't you think?"
"Yes, but I must say I did not enjoy showing them what I did, and then laughing over it." The man shuddered as he spoke, causing the woman to blink in surprise. This man had never allowed his emotions to get the best of him, always calm, always cool, so when he showed even the slightest disgusted, or even saddened feelings, it always surprised everyone around him.
"I saw, and I agree, what you had to show them was very disturbing."
The man nodded, and kneeled down, picking a small blue flower with yellow specks on the petals, he smiled, "For my lady," he said handing the woman the flower.
"Why, thank you, kind sir." The woman giggled as she took the flower and placed it behind her ear, as she looked toward the sky, "I see night is turning to day, and once more, the darkness falls to the light." She said watching everything grow brighter, "It's going to be a beautiful day, don't you think so too, Giles?"
Giles nodded, and held out his hand, "Yes, Lady Mythe, I do believe so." He said taking the ex-summoner's hand, and leading her back down into the Farplane.
On the ship...
Donald was staring out the windshield of the ship, all the while thinking he was invading Buffy's territory -which in fact, anyone could say he was. The duck wasn't comfortable in the pilot's seat, and felt as if he shouldn't be there, No, I shouldn't be here, Buffy should, Donald thought as the ship passed by another world -a world that could very well be destroyed if they didn't get their butts in gear, and defeat the Heartless. Maybe Clay will know something. But how could she? I mean she wasn't there, so how could she know where we should go next. Especially if we don't even know where to go, but that could also be cause we're so worried about Willow and Buffy.
The duck sighed, shook his head, and caught site of Willow and Buffy's twins standing in front of the window, and watching the worlds pass by. He also saw Goofy getting ready to speak, and shook his head, and saw Goofy nod before he went back to concentrating on flying the ship. Wouldn't be all that good if the Heartless caught them off guard, and besides, he figured the twins could figure out what they wanted. Donald could only hope that the two unconscious girls in the back would wake up soon, a worrying duck didn't make for a happy duck.
Goofy sat across from the princesses with his eyes nearly closed, yes he was tired, and yes, he wanted to sleep, but something wasn't right. At least not to him, Willow and Buffy should be in the bridge with them, but no, they were in one of their rooms -hopefully getting the rest they needed. And he knew his worry would not be put to rest until he saw both girls standing in front of him, or at least in the doorway. Goofy still couldn't understand how the girls had been turned into shadows, or why they had been.
Was that supposed to of happened? And why had it been just Willow and Buffy? Why couldn't it have been him, or Donald? Shaking his head, Goofy opened his eyes, and saw the princesses staring at their lovers, who were standing in front of the window, and not turning around. That was another thing, why were those two acting so distant? Goofy was just about to ask what was wrong when he saw Donald shake his head, and knew not to say anything -let them work it out on their own. He gave the duck a nod, and leaned his head back once more to stare at the ceiling.
Willow's twin was standing beside Buffy's twin, and staring out the window; she couldn't turn around and face her lover. Not after what had happened, not after what she's done. She could feel Tara's twin's gaze on her, but kept her eyes forward, and watched another world pass by -a world she knew that could have very well been destroyed by her and Buffy, if they hadn't been stopped, It's all my fault, we helped destroy so many worlds, and for what? Lies, all of it! Maleficent had lied to us the whole time, and we we're too stupid to see it. Damn it! We could have actually killed everyone, if it hadn't been for our doubles...or are we their doubles? Whatever, doesn't matter, what matters now is gaining back Tara's trust, and hopefully her love. Willow's twin caught site of Buffy's twin flinching, causing the redhead to sigh, looks like she was having the same problem.
Buffy's twin felt Faith's twin's eyes on her, and flinched, Hell! I hope she didn't see that! The young woman thought, there was no way she could meet her lover's eyes, not after giving herself over to the darkness. The ship passed by another world, and the blonde knew that it could have been a world she and Willow could have more then likely destroyed, Yeah, we just had to let that bitch get her grubby paws on us, didn't we? If it hadn't been for her lies, we would've been able to wake them, and not had our twins to do it. But, no, we had had to join up with the Heartless, all because that witch promised to get our girls' hearts back. And now look, I know they have to hate us for what we did, who wouldn't? They're so pure, and us, we're tainted right down to our bones...why would they want us? Buffy's twin kept staring out the window, never turning around, but if she or Willow's twin would have turned at that moment, they both would have seen the princesses worried, and confused gaze.
Why isn't Willow over here holding me as I sit in her lap? Princess Tara asked herself as she stared at her lover, and couldn't help but wonder what was wrong, Is it us? Have we done something since we awoke in Hollow Bastion? What did we do? No, I don't think it is me, nor Faith, I think what they are worried about is themselves. But really, do they really think it is their fault for turning to the darkness? They cannot think that, it wasn't their fault at all, both of them believed in Maleficent, and thought she was telling them the truth. I do believe Faith and I need to set things right, and make them see we still love them. I really want to be sitting in Willow's lap. The princess pouted for a moment and caught princess Faith's eyes, yes, it was time they set things right, and Traverse Town would be the perfect place to do it.
Princess Faith watched her lover with sadness in her eyes, what was wrong with her, and for that matter, Willow? She knew the both of them should be hovering over she and Tara, getting anything they wanted, just like when they'd both been gone a week -visiting another castle. And it had been longer than a week since either of them had seen her or Tara awake, a lot more, so, why weren't they doing their hovering thing? This is not right. They should be over here, making us sit in one place while they run around, trying to get us everything. And we should be disobeying them, and causing them both to get angry, just so we can make it up to them. So what is wrong? Are they angry with us? Or do they think we are angry with them...?
Princess Faith sighed, thinking of what was wrong with her lover and Tara's was giving her a headache. The dark haired princess glanced at the other, and saw her pouting, it looked as if she was thinking the same thing, before the princess saw the blonde turn her blue eyes toward her. As if she knew what Princess Tara was thinking, Princess Faith nodded, before she leaned her head back in an un-ladylike fashion. As soon as they made it to Traverse Town, they were going to speak with their lovers in private.
After having teleported onto the ship, both Tara and Faith had carried Willow and Buffy into one room, and had laid them side-by-side so they could watch over both girls together. Tara had -after laying Willow down- healed the redhead and Al Bhed of any poison in their bodies, and then cast a healing spell to heal their wounds, and then sat down next to Willow. Neither had woken since they'd feel unconscious back at Hollow Bastion, but seemed to be fine -even if both girls would twitch every few seconds from their dreams. Tara wished she could keep the dreams from Willow, but knew she couldn't and resigned herself to just holding her lover's hand, only to find that that helped.
Faith pushed the hair from Buffy's eyes, and took her hand to calm the girl down, before she glanced at Tara, "What do you think they're dreamin' 'bout?" she asked in a whisper so as not to disturb the others.
"I don't know, but I hope it isn't anything bad, or life threatening for them." The white mage sighed, and leaned in, leaving a feather-light kiss on Willow's forehead, "And I do hope it isn't anything they have to keep from us."
Faith nodded, she really did not want to see either of the girls doing what they had, not again, this last time could have killed them, or placed everyone in a greater danger than they had faced. "Yeah, I know... But one thing though, why and how did they get turned into shadows?"
"That I don't know, but it's something I intend to find out." Tara said firmly, "And I'm not gonna let Will keep it from me."
"Yes, and I'm adding Buffy to that too, she isn't keeping this from me." Faith agreed before she sat on the floor, and laid her head next to Buffy's hand. Tara bent over in her chair, laying her head next to Willow's hand, and like Faith, drifted off into a fitful sleep.
Willow opened her eyes, and glanced around before smiling at the site of her lover sleeping, and began stroking the blonde hair from Tara's face. "Oh, isn't this sooo cute!" Buffy whispered and let out a quite giggle when she saw how Faith was sleeping. "Yeah, it is, I bet they're tired after what happened back there."
Buffy nodded and stretched just before she joined Willow in nearly jumping off the bed in fright at the sound of Faith's voice, "You didn't help either!"
"Huh?" Willow's wide eyes stared up at Tara, "Whatcha mean, Faith?" she asked all the while keeping her eyes on her lover.
"Just what I said, you caused us to worry over the two of you a great deal."
"What? We were told not to tell you." Buffy pouted lowering her head.
"Don't think that face is gonna get you out of this... I think you both need to be punished." Faith grinned as Tara walked over to stand beside her, "Don't you think so too, Tara?"
"Yes," Tara nodded, and handed a whip to the dark haired girl, "They very much need to be punished."
Willow blinked. Buffy blinked. Both girls shot out of the bed, and nearly ripped the door from its frame in their haste to get away from the others. Just when had they turned into the Wonderland twins? Hell, any of them besides the princesses, and Clay and her group?
"Hurry, Buffy they're right behind us!" Willow shouted as she ran for the stairs leading to the bridge.
"Huh?" Buffy glanced over her shoulder, and screamed when she saw that their lovers were only a few feet away, and ready to use those whips, "Damn, Will! Don't you know any disappearing spells?" she asked taking three steps at a time.
"No, but I wish I did, one would come in handy right about now!" Willow said hurrying through the bridge door, and found it empty, "Great! Now they leave us alone!"
"Forget that! Hide!" Buffy said just as the bridge door opened once more, allowing their lovers to step through.
"It's too late to hide." Tara smirked as she jumped down from the top of the stairs.
Faith's own smirk covered her face, scaring Buffy; she just knew what she was in for, "Yes, now is punishment time."
Both girls screamed as the whips cracked.
Willow and Buffy shot up in bed, breathing hard, sweat running down their face, and searching the room with wild eyes. Willow was looking for a whip-carrying-Tara, and figured Buffy was looking for a whip-carrying-Faith. After a moment they both calmed down to see two worried faces staring back at them. When the girls had bolted upright in the bed, it had both, awoke and scared Tara and Faith, who stood and watched their lovers searching the room for something. But couldn't know what it was.
"Is...is there any whips around here?" Willow asked looking up at Tara.
"Umm... No." Tara shook her head, causing Willow to fall back on the bed, with Buffy following a second later.
"Good, that's real good." The Al Bhed girl said in relief.
Tara and Faith glanced at one another, and couldn't help but wonder just what their lovers were talking about. But both girls' questions would have to be put on hold for a bit longer, the ship was slowing, and they knew it was time to visit Traverse Town.