Everything was quite, no wind blew though the trees, no birds chirped, no animals ran around playing in the clearing, it was an eerie clam that gave chills to all standing there. The group of young women and two guys waited for any sign of the Phantom's attack, but none came. Buffy and Faith were still trying -and failing- to wake Willow and Tara, both were still in the same spot and hadn't moved. The Phantom for his part just floated ten foot away, basking in the fear coming off the two unconscious girls. It was feeding him and making him stronger, as long as there was fear he need not move. The beautiful fear made him invincible to any and all attacks, whether they were physical or magical. As long as those two stayed unconscious he was perfectly fine, and if they awoke, well he'd just have to kill all of them now wouldn't he? Yes, being a Heartless was wonderful, killing without regret and worry.
"Nothing is working!" Buffy growled through her clenched teeth and shook her head. She and Faith had been trying without success to wake her cousin and best friend for the last tseveral minutes. The tension was beginning to get to the Al Bhed girl, not knowing when and if the Phantom would attack once more and succeed in killing them all. If only Tara and Willow would wake up!
Faith sighed and rested on her knees, "How are we suppose to wake them?" she asked just as upset as her lover, "And just what about tall, dark, and creepy over there?"
"We wait." Clay spoke having lowered her Gunblade, but kept on guard, "Maybe they'll wake up on their own."
"I wanna know where Peter got off to." Buffy number two said glancing around as if she'd catch a glimpse of the boy in green, "He didn't seem the type to run from a battle."
Faith looked over her shoulder at her lover's twin and sighed, "Well he did, no use in complaining about it now...let's just get these two awake somehow and finish that thing off."
"I did not run away, I was told to get something for your friends." Peter's voice said from above as the boy landed, and a group of young women appeared behind him.
Eyeing the group, Clay quirked her eyebrows, "Who're they, and what do they want?" she could feel no ill intentions from them, no darkness, but she never let her guard down.
"Where can I get Faith an outfit like yours?" Buffy asked as she stood up and walked over to Rei.
Faith narrowed her eyes, "Remember our twins in Wonderland? Wanna go see them again?" she asked with a smirk as Buffy quickly shook her head with wide eyes. She had no desire to return and see those twins unless there was an absolute need to.
"I am Senshi Venus, and we're here to help." Minako spoke as she eyed the Phantom, they would help the best they could, but the Heartless was just too tough even for them. No matter what attack they threw at him, they had never harmed the thing, their power would only keep him at bay long enough for them to get to safety.
Princess Serenity hurried forward with the vial in hand, and knelt next to Tara and Willow, "Now I know who the second person is." she no more than whispered.
"Yes, you are right." Rei said as she knelt next to her lover, "I can feel the darkness radiating off them in waves." the Martian princess closed her eyes for a moment, "Damn, that hurts." she pressed two fingers to her temple. The darkness was trying to force it's way into body, she could only hope the princess wasn't feeling it as much.
The princess sighed, she like Tara was fully composed of light, and the darkness that covered the two girls was making her sick, "What hurts?" Buffy number three asked.
"The darkness." Rei spoke as she slightly raised Tara's head so the princess could pour the liquid in her mouth, "I can't see how this young woman is holding up against it."
Faith stared at her adopted sister, "What do you mean? And what is that?" she asked eyeing the vial.
"That will expel the darkness, or weaken it enough for these ladies to break the hold it has on them." Michiru said as she kneeled next to the girls and ran over forefinger over Tara's cheek, then Willow's. "What are their names?"
"Tara, the blonde, and Willow the redhead." Buffy spoke looking between her cousin, second sister, and the Phantom.
Michiru touched each girl's forehead before sighing, "You're right Rei, I don't see how Tara held out against it, she must have had powerful help."
"What do you mean?" Clay asked finally having enough of not knowing what the new girls were talking about.
"There are three different kinds of people in the worlds," Setsuna spoke as she stared at the Phantom, "Those who are born into complete darkness, those who are born between the darkness and the light, and those who are born in compete light."
Hotaru nodded, "Each soul is either light, dark, or grey. Darkness will not affect those who are born into it, however, those born in the grey can withstand it for a small amount of time, and those born of light, it will eventually kill them. That is what has been happening to your friends here. Both were fighting against it, and both were winning, but they have been losing at the same time."
"What?!" The entire group shouted, causing the Phantom the twitch, he did not know what was going on, but was compelled to listen.
"What has been happening is that they were fighting against it, right?" Makoto asked stepping forward, "But while they were pushing it down, it was eating away at their soul."
Ami nodded, typing on a small handheld mini-computer with her Mercury visor over her eyes, "The darkness would not have killed them right away, but controlled them, turned them to evil, and then slowly consumed them from the inside out." By now the princess had poured the liquid into Willow's mouth and was leaning against Rei, "It's working." Ami confirmed as she watched the darkness levels in both girls deplete.
Working? The liquid was forcing the darkness out of them, but how? How could something kill darkness? The Phantom watched, he could see the dark aura around the girls dimming...was it really working? Could that happen to him? Could those girls kill the darkness in his body, and perhaps turn him back to his human self? Did he want that? Had human life been better than that of being a Heartless? It had to be, but did he want to go back to being a human again? Did he even still have a heart? He was a "Heartless" creature after all, but what if something could kill the darkness inside him, would he die or be his old self? Where were these thoughts coming from? Was his old self trying to come through? Only one way to find out, he floated forward.
"Watch out!" Donald shouted raising his magic staff as the others stepped into a defensive stance.
"NO!" The Phantom's rough voice echoed, was that his voice? How could it be, it used to be deep and smooth, not rough and dull. The group stayed in their fighting stance but waited, what exactly was the Phantom wanting?
Quite, calm, cold, creepy, odd..."Where in hellfire am I?" Willow's voice echoed around the darkness. She had awoke not long ago and began walking in total inky blackness, hoping not to stumble into anything, "I repeat, where in hellfire am I?!" she hollered.
"I don't know but I'm here too, love." Tara's voice answered her, "Where are you?"
"I don't know, that's why I'm asking." Willow smirked, and heard Tara giggle, "Seriously though, I'm close to you I can feel it...stay there I'm coming to you." It may have been pitch black but Willow could still feel the link between she and Tara, "This is weird."
Even though she couldn't see it, Tara nodded, "Yeah it is... I wonder what this place is?"
"The place between life and death." An emotionless voice answered, causing both girls to jump.
"Huh?" Willow glanced around, knowing she wouldn't be able to see a thing, "What are you talking about, and who are you?" she asked finally reaching her wife and slipped her hand in Tara's.
A cold distant laugh could be heard, "Don't you know?" the voice asked, "You killed one another." the voice spoke as another laugh burst forth.
"WHAT?!" Both girls shouted, "You're lying!"
The laugh died to a chuckle, "No, it's not a lie, Tara killed you Willow, by drawing all the magic from your body. In doing this, it also took your energy, and you died. Willow, you killed Tara, want to know how?" The voice asked, but didn't give either girl time to speak, "I'll tell you how. Your magic killed her. Tara was born of the light, her body, her soul, could only use white magic, and your gray magic killed her. It was too dark a magic for her body to withstand. Not to mention the darkness in both your body's. It had slowly began eating away at your souls, this last time killed the both of you. So, welcome, this is your new home."
"No, I won't believe that!" Willow shouted into the darkness, "Come out and prove it to me then I'll believe it!"
Another chuckle, "I do not have to prove anything to either of you. Can't you feel it, the coldness of your lover's hand? Your bodies have grown cold, you are dead." the voice laughed once more, "And now you both are mine!"
As insane laughter filled the darkness Tara jerked her hand away from Willow's and covered her face, "This is not real, I didn't kill Willow! I can still feel her heart beating though our link."
"A minor flaw, you see you can still feel it here, but in the outside her heart has stopped beating...and so has yours."
"What?" Willow peered into the darkness, that voice, where was that voice coming from? "Tara, listen."
It speaks not the truth.
Both girls turned in circles only to still find the darkness covering the realm, "What is going on?!" Willow growled.
It only wants your bodies.
"Mom?" Willow blinked, first it was Giles, now her mother, who next, her dad?
Look within yourselves, and fight it!
Maybe not, that sounded like Bahamut, "Within...only wants bodies..." Willow's eyes widened causing her to take Tara's hand once more. Even though she still couldn't see her wife, Tara had the same look on her face, "The darkness!"
"You're the darkness within our bodies." Tara narrowed her eyes, "Well you're in for a fight if you think you can take mine or Will's body!"
"Got that right!" Willow growled, and tensed for a fight, but how could she fight? She didn't even know where they were. It sure wasn't like when she and Buffy had been turned into a Heartless. How were they going to get out of this without one or the other being hurt, or killed?
The darkness chuckled coldly, "You really think you can defy me? You are nothing more than children, where as I, I have been around since the dawn of time. Watching, waiting for the right moment, the right body, and now I have two!" the cold chuckle turned in to that of evil laughter.
"No!" Both girls cried at the same time, "You shall not have our bodies!"
"I may have darkness inside my body, but that is only because of my magic... Magic that I use to do good." Willow spoke calmly, "My magic cannot, and will not be used for evil, I will not allow it!"
Tara inclined her head, just enough to look defiant, "You will not use me for evil either, I grew to become a Summoner, and in doing so I learned the white arts! That magic can never be used for evil!"
As she and Willow spoke, they intertwined their fingers, and pressed their palms together. Neither were conscious of the fact, but as they grew more confident their magics mixed and mingled -growing together- and soon a sheet of pure white surrounded them. The darkness screamed as the pure magics tore through, lighting up every single corner, leaving not one shred of blackness behind. "Damn..." Willow whispered, her body feeling like lead, and she fainted from the energy drain -as did Tara. Both girls were still holding hands as their spirits disappeared back to where they should be.