The bright morning sun peeked through the cracks in the curtain, hitting Willow in the face, and waking her from a very peaceful sleep. For a few minutes the redhead lay still with her eyes still closed and savored the feeling of her arms wrapped around Tara, like every morning before. The blonde's chest was rising and falling evenly telling Willow that she was still asleep, and seeing no reason to wake her wife she slowly slid out of bed. Quietly stretching Willow grabbed her clothes and made her way to the bathroom for her morning shower. Thirty minutes later Willow stepped out of the bathroom fully dressed, hair still wet, and smiled when she saw Tara snuggled up to her pillow. A soft knock at the door caused her to hurry over before it woke her lover, Willow knew she needed the rest with all the worrying she'd been doing. "Hey." she whispered as she stepped into the hallway with Clay, "What's up?"
"Well, I wanted to give you these." Clay held out several pieces of paper, "The other twins gave these to us yesterday before you came back. They're reports from D'Hoffryn's diary."
Willow stared at the pages for a moment before taking them, "Thanks, but why did they have them?" she asked wondering just how her twin got them, and actually kept them without D'Hoffryn destroying them while he was using her and Buffy's twin bodies.
Clay shrugged, "They told us that there was a part in them they kept locked from his prying mind, so he never knew they'd stole them from Maleficent."
"Okay, thanks." Willow smiled and saw Buffy come out of her and Faith's room, "Morning."
"Mornin'" the Al Bhed grumbled scratching her head and yawned, "What's those?"
"The other reports." that woke the blonde up.
"Yeah," Willow nodded, "Wanna read them?"
Buffy nodded, "Yeah, let's go in the living room." she grabbed Willow's hand and pulled her down the hallway under Clay's amused gaze. The blonde shook her head thinking how much alike they all were and quietly slipped back into her room before her Willow woke up.
"Want some coffee?" Buffy asked knowing it was the only thing she could make without burning down the house, just as she knew the same about Willow.
"Sure." Willow waited until Buffy brought the coffee before she began reading.
"Okay, so he's the one that named them...and he also studied them, but for how long?" Buffy asked when Willow lay the first paper on the small side table.
"Dunno, but what I really wanna know is how long before the Heartless took his heart?" Willow glanced at the Al Bhed as she began reading the next report.
Buffy stared at the redhead with wide eyes, cup half way to her lips, she was frozen in place, just as Willow was. The redhead stared at the paper as if it had just appeared in front of her, "He gave those damn things living samples?" Willow's voice could barely be heard, but Buffy heard it and didn't know what to say, "What kind of bastard gives things like the Heartless something living to kill?"
"A psycho." Buffy said finally coming out of her frozen, and shocked state of mind, "That's what he had to be...I can actually see studying them, and perhaps testing them, but giving them something to kill? And he wanted to communicate with the Heartless? Why?"
"That, Buffy, is what I'd like to know. Communicate with something that would kill you without a second thought? The Heartless are no better than the fiends we killed on Spira. And what's this about them being the darkness in people's hearts?"
The Al Bhed shrugged, "Do you think that's why we felt the darkness at Hollow Bastion like we did?"
"No." Willow shook her head, "It can't be that. I mean, yes, you, Faith and myself know black magic, but Tara only knows white. If that was it, then Tara shouldn't have been as sick and pale as she was, Buffy, we both know that only someone with a pure heart can be a summoner and know white magic....not including Glory, cause it was her mother that gave her the first and only Aeon she had. And in knowing that, like I said, Tara shouldn't have felt a thing, but she did, and it was killing her."
"I know...but right now I don't know what in the hellfire is going on about those things. Damn it, give me that freak Omega any day over these things!" Buffy sighed, "I really hate to know what's on the other pages...but we need to know what we're dealing with."
"Yeah." Willow agreed and began reading the next page.
"Well that we knew." Buffy said watching Willow lay the paper down, "I mean we've had to fight them and seal the door to the heart of the worlds we were in...except for Hollow Bastion, and I know we're gonna have to go back there. I mean we need to stop them from destroying that world, and help the princesses get back to their own worlds."
"Yeah, let's just hope we'll be ready to face what's on the other side of that Heartless door."
"Damn! This guy was really nuts!" Willow growled setting the paper aside, "Who in hellfire would want to create a Heartless, even if it was for the purpose of studying them?"
"Will, I just thought of something..."
"What is it?"
"He was using our twins, right? So just how did he turn into one of the Heartless, or become that powerful?" Willow quirked her eyebrows, she'd never thought of that, and now that Buffy had brought it up, she was curious about it too, "I know we'll have to fight him, but really, what kind of power does he really have if he can control the Heartless, and give power like he gave the twins?"
Willow held up the final report, "Let's hope there's something in this, or we'll be going into that battle blind."
Buffy blinked, "That's it?"
"Yeah...okay, so he found the door to the worlds heart, and jumped in...apparently without any regrets, but that still doesn't explain how and why he became a Heartless. Do you think while studying the Heartless he became obsessed with their power, and wanted it for himself?"
"That could be it, but we haven't figured out why he would do such a thing." Clay said from the foot of the stairs, startling the two girls, "Even though we hardly spoke of him, he was a great ruler over our world, and for that reason we don't know why he'd set the Heartless loose to destroy the world we fought so hard to protect."
"And we lost so many friends." Willow's twin wrapped her arms around Clay from behind, and buried her face in her lover's neck, "The Heartless killed them all before our world was destroyed."
"Anya would still be here if it wasn't for me." Buffy's twin slowly walked down the stairs with watery eyes, "I was ready for a fight and jumped in without thinking...I wasn't watching my back and felt the Heartless dig their claws into my legs and bring me to the ground. Anya saw what happened and jumped in to help me, but paid the price when one of those soldier Heartless jumped up and stabbed her through the heart with its claws."
"Xander was shooting the Heartless left and right with his rifle as I fought beside him." Faith's twin stepped beside her lover, "Then the fighting grew intense, forcing me to move back and away from him. It wasn't but a few minutes later he screamed for help, but I was too far away to get to him in time. I could only watch as a group of Heartless jumped him, by the time I reached his position the Heartless had bit into his throat, killing him."
"Don't forget Angel, Darla, Drusilla, Spike, and the others." Clay said lowering her head, "But also don't forget it wasn't our fault that they died, there were just too many Heartless to deal with, and besides, they died protecting our world...and we will see them again."
Willow nodded, "Clay is right, you will see your friends again once we destroy the Heartless."
"Yeah, so don't worry about it...hey, do you know how the other twins are?" Buffy asked watching for any signs of lies, but she knew these girls wouldn't lie to them about something like that.
"I talked with Princess Tara just a few minutes ago, and she said our twin is resting just fine." the second redhead smiled just before sniffing the air, "Hey! Coffee!" she nearly shouted before racing off to grab a cup.
"Mmm coffee..." Buffy's twin grinned following Willow's twin, "Who wants breakfast?"
"Me!" Everyone in the room raised their hands, "What're we havin'?" Buffy asked her twin, and watched her shrug.
"What ever we have." the twin chuckled as she entered the kitchen, leaving behind a pouting Al Bhed who really wanted to know what was for breakfast.
"C'mon, lets go see if our girls are up." Willow finished her lukewarm coffee before pulling the blonde up the stairs, they only made it half way before stopping and smiling at Tara and Faith, "We were just on our way to see if you were up."
"Up and showered." Tara smirked but did much like Buffy did a minute before, and pouted, "I also see I missed my chance to shower with you."
"Same here, and you know I love showering with you." Faith crossed her arms and half turned with her head lowered.
"I'm sorry!" Buffy half shouted jumping up the three steps, and wrapping her arms around the Dragon Warrior, "I promise I'll make it up to you." she winked turning Faith around to face her, and pulling the slightly taller girl into a kiss.
"You gonna make it up to me?" Tara continued to pout, but couldn't help the smile that forced its way out when Willow caressed her fingertips up her arm, and around to the back of her neck before nodding and pulling the ex-summoner down into a long, slow kiss.
The two couples never noticed they had an audience until a whistle broke the silence, breaking the kiss Willow looked over Tara's shoulder and saw her other twin smirking, "Oh, please continue."
"Don't mind us." Buffy's other twin smirked and winked, "We, of course, know how they can be without their morning kisses." she said causing the two princesses to blush.
"I hear that!" the Buffy downstairs shouted with an agreeing "Yeah!" from the other Willow.
Faith shrugged, "Yeah well, we've been deprived for a while." she winked at her twin.
"Deprived?" Donald shouted as he and Goofy came out of their room, "Whatcha mean by that? That's all you do between worlds!" he shook his head and quacked at Goofy who was grinning.
"Aww shucks, Donald, let the girls alone." He chuckled winking at the group of young women, "You're just as bad as they are with Daisy, ya know."
"Hey! They don't need to know that!"
"No, no, don't mind us, please, continue." Willow smirked causing Buffy to giggle, now they had something to use against the duck.
"C'mon, let's eat." Clay said from the foot of the stairs, "By the way, its not just us that gets grouchy without our kisses." she smirked.
"Got that right." Faith's twin also smirked before heading into the dining room.
The others followed the twins and sat down at the rather large table, "Today we all should rest, for tomorrow we go into battle." Clay had said as she picked her fork up, and then smirked at the looks everyone but her group were giving her.
"What are you talking about?" Tara asked glancing around the table, "Is Traverse Town going to be attack again?"
"No," Clay shook her head, "We're going with you."
"Huh?" Donald blinked, "Why? What for?"
Willow's twin gave him a sad smile, "The Heartless destroyed our world..."
"They killed our friends..." Faith's twin clenched her fist.
Buffy's twin stared at Buffy for a moment, before lowering her head, "Not just our friends, they were our family."
"So, do you really think we're gonna let y'all go fight the Heartless without us?" Clay asked, "I don't think so, you're gonna need some more help than just you six and these two girls here." she nodded to the other Willow and Buffy.
"We're going also." Princess Tara spoke up causing her lover and the third Buffy to shake their heads.
"No! You two are not going."
"I know you are worried about us, but we can take care of ourselves, and we can also help." Princess Faith spoke, "We can heal the group of their wounds, and cast defensive spells on everyone."
"We are not staying behind to worry over everyone, I for one could not stand not knowing if one or all of you are hurt and dying." Princess Tara looked everyone in the eyes one by one before finally setting her eyes on her lover, "I will not stay here, I love you, Willow, and I'm not going to let you go into a battle without me by your side."
"You both know we can fight and defend ourselves, you both helped teach us!" Princess Faith smiled, "And besides, we owe the Heartless for keeping us asleep, and away from the two of you." she gave the whole group her best don't-screw-with-me-or-you'll-regret-it-look, just as princess Tara was.
Willow cut her eyes to Tara and smirked, they were so much alike it was almost scary, "Well, that's settled, now can we eat?"
"Yeah! I'm starvin'!" Buffy agreed, shrugged her shoulders, and began eating the scrambled eggs, "This is good!"
Willow's twin laughed, "I agree with the princesses, we're gonna need all the help we can get, so, my double, don't worry, we'll watch each others backs."
"Got that right!" Faith and her twin nodded.
"Now eat and then rest to get your strength back, you're gonna need it." Clay said with a smirk as she ate, causing the princesses lovers to sigh but shrug their shoulders, they knew nothing was going to stop them from going, so best just to agree instead arguing about it.