The form of a young boy appeared next to a large waterfall, his deep brown eyes scanning the flower fields below, "Well, how did they look? And did anyone know you were there watching?" Shiva asked as she appeared next to Bahamut, and just as he, scanned the fields with her icy blue eyes.
"No," the boy shook his head, "No one knew I was there, and everyone looked fine, even their twins were doing better."
"That is good." A deep voice spoke, announcing the arrival of Ifrit, "Let's just hope they stay in good condition for the coming battles."
The three ex-Aeons stood together as two other forms began to take shape to the right, and two to the left. "Faith will make damn sure she and the others come out of it alive." Harmony said as she and Hallie appeared.
"Yes, and the Lady Tara and Guardian Willow will do their best to protect everyone in the group and each other." Lenne spoke as she and her lover appeared.
Tsuki firmly nodded, "Yeah, they are all excellent fighters, so we have no need to worry about them fighting the Heartless."
"But what of Spira?" A new voice asked as the form of Valefore took shape next to the one time summoner, "We all know they're after our home, and not to mention us!"
"For now," Bahamut spoke as he turned and looked at each of the others one by one, "We can handle the Heartless, and we will not disturb the Lady Tara."
"Yes," Another female voice spoke, causing the others to turn in the direction of the appearing Anima, "If, and only if the Heartless become too much for us that is when we will warn Lady Tara."
Carbuncle appeared next to Shiva and glanced around, "You know they will be calling on us when they are ready, don't you?"
"Yes, we know, and when the Lady Tara calls on us, we will answer her call for they will need our help." Bahamut spoke, and saw the young girl nod, "Now, let us watch over Spira until we are called upon." The Aeons, Tsuki, and Lenne nodded before disappearing back to their posts to keep guard over Spira.
Tara had raised her head and looked into the shadows when she felt what she thought was Bahamut's energy. As she stared into the darkness the ex-summoner shrugged, what would the Aeon be doing here? Was something happening on Spira that she and the others should know about? If so, wouldn't someone warn them in their dreams that Spira was in danger? Yes, she had no doubt about that, but why did she just now feel the Aeon's energy? Tara lightly shook her head, she was probably just tired, that's all. "What's wrong, baby?" Willow's softly spoken words pulled Tara out of her train of thought.
"Nothing, just thought I'd felt something." The blonde gave her lover a crooked grin, and left a soft kiss on her lips, "We should get back before the others start to worry."
Willow agreed and rose, holding her hand out to help her lover up, as the two young women jumped to the ground, Faith and Buffy jumped down from the balcony and grinned, "Well, looks like its time to see what's up with the twins?" Faith spoke as she took Buffy's hand and began walking toward the Third District door.
"Yeah," Willow nodded and cocked her head to the left, "for some reason I get the feeling that the princesses want us to help them with something."
Tara cut her eyes toward her wife and couldn't help but wonder how Willow knew that, "I can feel it too." Buffy said scratching her head, "I wonder what's up?" The ex-summoner blinked and stared at her cousin, now she was starting to get just a little pissed, not to mention Faith was too. Why could their lovers feel what their twins wanted? Why wasn't it them? Tara and Faith should be the ones feeling what the princesses wanted, not their lovers, and they couldn't help but think that the princesses was sending the feelings to Willow and Buffy, and not them. The only thing both girls could think at that moment was that those two princesses better not be making a move on their lovers, cause if they were, then there would be hell to pay.
"You know," Willow stopped just a foot away from the door, "I'm also getting a worried feeling from my twin." Glancing at the others she saw Buffy nod, and blinked at the angry look Tara and Faith had in their eyes.
"Why are the two of you picking up on our twins' feelings?" Faith asked in a very low, and what they all knew was a dangerous voice, "Shouldn't me and Tara be getting our twins' feelings?"
Buffy squeezed her lover's hand, and smiled, "I dunno, but maybe it's because you're not connected with them like us."
"What's that mean?" Tara asked angrily, causing Willow and Buffy to step back, "We're the same persons, so it should be Faith and myself, not the two of you."
The redhead cut her eyes to Buffy and shrugged, she didn't know why Tara was angry, but she had a pretty good idea that her wife was a little on the jealous side, "Baby, it's most likely cause they were hiding inside us that we can feel them." She said hoping that she was at least half right, and hoping that it would help calm both Tara and Faith down before going back into the Third District.
After a moment Willow and Buffy could see their lovers relax and knew what Willow had said helped, "Hey, we need to talk with you." Clay said as she opened the Third District door and poked her head around, "The princesses are going to need our help to get the darkness out of their lovers." The four young women followed Clay back to the house, and entered to find both ex-dark twins sitting on the floor with the princesses sitting to their right.
"Please, Willow, Buffy, sit in front of them, and everyone else sit in a circle around them." Princess Tara spoke and watched as the others did as she asked, "Willow, you're a master gray mage, correct?" Willow nodded, "Buffy, you're intermediate, correct?" she received a nod, "I need you to take the hands of your double, and don't let go no matter what, okay?"
The Al Bhed and redhead glanced at one another, "What's going to happen?" Willow finally asked worry lacing her voice.
Princess Tara lowered her head, "This will be painful for the both of them, you see, the darkness has a very strong hold on them, even if the most of it's gone."
Tara glanced from Willow and Buffy's twins to her own, "How are we going to help?" she asked not entirely sure of what was going to happen, "We've never had to do something like this before."
"That is where you come in..." Princess Faith spoke catching everyone's attention, "You have what are called Aeons, correct?" when she received a nod her eyes turned to Clay and her group, "And they have what are called Guardian Forces, beings just like the Aeons, but can be called by anyone they are with at the time. What we need from you, Tara, and from Clay and the others is to call upon the Aeons as they will be calling upon their Guardian Forces."
"Just what are the Aeons going to be doing?" Faith asked, it wasn't that she didn't trust her twin, or even Tara's twin, it was the strain Tara would be in when she called on the Aeons, that she didn't exactly like, "Isn't this dangerous?"
Princess Tara shook her head, "Not at all, the only thing the Aeons and Guardian Forces will be doing is appearing, and using their energy to cleanse the darkness from Willow and Buffy's bodies. There will be no danger for any of us."
"What will happen, exactly?" Buffy asked still not completely satisfied with the earlier answer.
"We will ask the Aeons and Guardian Forces to come to our aid and help with removing the darkness from Willow and Buffy's bodies. They will appear in a circle, standing behind each one of us, and filter their power into us, and in turn surround Willow and Buffy with it. At this point the energy should move forward and into their bodies, and begin the purging process. Their pure energy will, as you would call it, do battle with the darkness, and since there will be more of their energy the darkness will be forced out." Princess Tara explained watching the others before nodding to Princess Faith.
"Yes, it will be painful for both of them, but it's the only way we know of to destroy the darkness, and make sure none of it is left. And before you say anything," she smiled sadly at Willow when she opened her mouth to speak, "they have agreed to do this of their own free will."
"Have you?" Buffy looked at her twin, she knew if Faith asked her to do something painful, or even life threatening she'd do it in less than a heartbeat, so why would her twin be any different? Especially since said twin had sided with the Heartless to get her lover back.
The twin nodded, "Yes, I have... I want the darkness gone, I can feel it moving through my body...it wants to grow powerful again and I don't want that."
"Buffy's right," Willow's twin spoke up, "I don't want that either, it's a danger to everyone around us... No, we'd be the danger to everyone not just the darkness." she lowered her head as she thought about she'd and Buffy had done while the Heartless' power was in their bodies.
"It wasn't your fault." Tara said causing the twin to look at her with wide eyes. How could she of all people say it wasn't her fault? It was a surprise to her, and she could see that it was a surprise to Buffy's twin too. The blonde was sitting beside her, staring at the ex-summoner with wide eyes, and neither one of could figure out just why she'd said that, hell they had tried to kill them.
Buffy's twin tightly squeezed her eyes shut and reopened them only to see Buffy smiling at her, "How...how can you say that?" she had to ask, there was just no way she could believe it, "I mean we worked for Maleficent, we've destroyed worlds, we even tried to kill you, so how can you say it's not our fault?"
"Easy," Faith said getting the two ex-dark twins' attention, "You saw your lovers being taken, and could do nothing to stop it. You love the princess' so much that you didn't care what you had to do to get them back, and the Heartless saw that, came to you with an offer to work for them in exchange for your lovers back. You took it without a second thought because you wanted the girls back in your arms." The dark haired girl shrugged, "Hell, at one time there was only one girl I'd gave my life for, and almost did."
The twins stared at her for a moment not knowing what to say, this girl put on a tough front, she was tough there was no doubt about that, but underneath she was a softie, "What do you mean?"
Faith looked over at Willow's twin and grinned, "Tara, when she was a summoner, we all thought she'd die defeating Sin. But that didn't happen as you can see. Will here came along and showed us another way of getting rid of that monster for good...but she's the one who had to die. If it wasn't for the Aeons helping, she wouldn't be here today. And now, there are three I'd give my life to protect, Tara, Willow, and my own lover Buffy." Faith felt the Al Bhed squeeze her hand and grinned, "So as you can see, at that time, and any other time, I was and am still ready to protect them. That's all the two of you wanted to do, protect your lovers, and get them back."
"Couldn't have said it better myself." Willow grinned, "But if you still want to take blame for what you did, then think about how stupid you was for actually siding with the Heartless and not finding your own way to get the princesses back. You know...I would have done the same thing...but it still would have been stupid." she shrugged and saw the twins hide a smile.
Clay also saw the twin hiding their smiles and glanced around, "Are we ready?" Receiving nods all around she too nodded, "Just remember, this will be painful for them, but don't move from your positions, if you do it won't work." More nods greeted what she'd said, "Okay, from what the princesses have told me, I need Summoner Tara to call on her Aeons, my group to call on our Guardian Forces, and the three of you," she said turning to Buffy, Willow, and Faith, "to call on your magics to aid the Aeons and GFs, okay?"
"Yeah, we can do that." Buffy closed her eyes as did the others.
No words were needed as the girls concentrated on asking for help from the powerful beings. Just a few short seconds later a bright light filled the room causing all present to flinch, it was as if they were facing the sun with their eyes closed, a second later the room dimmed, and standing in a circle were Tara's Aeons -who nodded to their counterparts the Guardian Forces. Even though the Aeons had known of the Guardian Forces and knew that some of them looked just like their own twins, there were also several that were different. Bahamut, Shiva, Ifrit, and Carbuncle all had their doubles. However the rest did not have a single one that could even be a double; the closest one to Anima would have to be Diablos seeing as he was a GF of dark powers. Dark Dragon's closer power double is Odin, since both could defeat an enemy instantly, and Ixion's power double could only be Quezacotl the thunder GF that more or less looked something like a giant bird.
There was no way to explain the Alexander GF, only that he looked like a giant castle with angle wings his power is light magics only, when called he wraps his wings around the group, and shots a white energy blast at the enemy, he was the closest to Valefor. Cerberus like the legends told was a three headed dog with the power to double and triple spells for the users. The Brothers GF were two blue minotaur brothers, the oldest stood around 3 foot tall while the youngest stood at least 6 foot their power is of the Earth. Both will rip the ground up and throw it into the air with the enemies on it, right before the youngest brother throws the oldest into the air, where he crashes into the rock and killing most enemies. Eden is the largest GF by far, when called she appears in the sky as lines of light circle and cross in the ground to form a star incased in the circle before her power crushes the enemy. Leviathan is a large water dragon that when called rests atop a large mountain and watches as his Tsunami wave washes the enemies away.
Another that is hard to explain is Pandemona the Wind GF, her power lifts the enemies high into the air, spins them around in a tornado before dropping them on their heads. Siren a beautiful winged blonde woman appears when called and casts Silence on the enemy so they cannot cast spells. The last two Guardian Forces were odd, one called Jumbo Cactuar, as his name says, he is a thirty foot tall cactuar. When called he kneels over and shoots out ten thousand needles that either destroy the enemies, or wound them enough they run or get killed by another attack. The last is Toneberry King, a large green Toneberry that uses his Chef's Knife attack to instantly kill the enemy.
"We shall begin." Both Bahamuts spoke in unison as they joined hands with the other Aeons and Guardian Forces. As soon as the circle was complete another flash of light lit up the room causing Donald and Goofy to flinch, but stay seated, if anyone would have opened their eyes they would have seen the powerful creatures glowing, Give us your power, Willow, Buffy, Faith, Donald and Goofy heard whispered in their minds and allowed the Aeons and Guardian Forces access. The multicolored energy shot forward wrapping around the two ex-dark twins, and entered their bodies.
The princesses couldn't help the tears that fell when they heard the first whimpers of their lovers, and forced themselves to stay seated when they began screaming in pain. Willow wanted so much to stop her twin from the pain, but knew if she moved even a fraction of an inch the cleansing wouldn't work, and they'd be back at square one. The redhead felt Tara squeeze her hand and gave a gentle squeeze back to let her know she was there, and did the same for Buffy when she felt the Al Bhed tighten her grip.
Tears leaked from Tara's closed eyes, the screams reminded her of when Willow was brought back from the Farplane, and there had been nothing she could do then to stop the pain -just as now she couldn't stop the pain for her lover's twin. Another scream, this time louder filled the room causing Tara's heart to clench and her to grit her teeth. She forced the images out of her head from the times she'd seen Willow hurt, that was something she didn't need to think about, not now, and certainly not later.
Buffy was seeing flashes from Valefor's temple and tried to force them out, but the screams brought them back full force. The painful look on Willow's face, her tense body, her screams of pain before she crumpled to the floor unconscious. The Al Bhed girl swallowed back a sob, but let the tears fall for her and Willow's twin. Faith -just as Buffy- saw flashes of Willow being brought back and was forcing them away, only to have them return when more screams filled the room. Between the flashes of Willow, she was also thinking about Buffy, and how she'd do anything to stop her lover from going through that much pain. Faith, with her mind in a different place, never felt the warm wetness of her tears as they rolled down her cheeks.
Clay and her group was the same as the others, all were forcing back mental images of how the two girls must have looked. To them it had to be the same look as when their Willow had been merged with that evil sorceress in their world. That was the image Willow was forcing from her mind, having been merged with that evil woman, the pain from the merger, and then the unmerging when she'd been defeated. Clay for her part was holding up fine, only if anyone could have seen her they would have seen her grinding her teeth and a pain filled look on her face. Buffy and Faith looked the same as their friend, and leader, and knew what she and Willow must be going through. Both girl tightened their grips on their girls' hands and gritted their teeth.
Donald and Goofy wanted to help the two girls, to stop their pain, but knew that was not an option if they did, then the darkness would never leave their bodies. The duck forced himself to stay still and tried to ignore the screams, but knew nothing would stop him from hearing. Goofy, even though most of the time was thought of as not exactly smart, knew the girls had to have the cleansing done, but didn't have to like it one bit, and he didn't. To him, he would have thought there would have had to been another, easier, and less painful way. He also knew for as long as he lived he'd never forget the screams he heard in that small room, and for some reason thought that no one else would either.
As for the ex-dark twins their bodies felt like they were on fire one minute, and frozen the next. They also felt the electric, wind, water, death, life, silence, pure energy, protective, and defensive powers enter and fight against the darkness. Pure white hot pain shot through both girl's bodies as the energies merged and exploded in different colored lights. With a final blood curdling scream the two girls fell to the floor unconscious, but free of the darkness.
"They need rest." Cerberus' deep voice filled the room as the group opened their eyes, "Please make sure they get it."
"We will, and thank you for all that you've done." Princess Tara stood and bowed to the Guardian Forces and Aeons, just as the others did.
"There is no need to thank us, your highness." Leviathan said as the group stood straighter.
"Yes, but thank you anyway." Princess Faith smiled as she caressed her lover's face, and watched as the powerful creatures disappeared.
Clay looked around the group, no one there could stand without wobbling, "We all need rest. Let's get them into bed, and then get some rest ourselves." Willow and Buffy picked their twins up, and carried them to their rooms before going to their own rooms to rest.