As both Willow and Tara had disappeared from the darkness, they had taken an unknown detour, right into the Farplane. Willow looked around, nothing had changed, not even the smallest of green flowers -the once guardian sighed. Were they really dead? Was the voice actually telling them the truth? "Are we dead?" Tara asked worriedly as she took in the very real Farplane, and saw her wife shrug, "Great." she sighed.
"No, you girls aren't dead!" Shelia spoke up from behind them, causing both to jump a foot in the air and spin around, "See what you get for thinking you're dead?"
"Mother!" Willow shouted, angry and happy at the same time. Angry that her mother had scared them, and happy cause she was once again seeing her mother.
Shelia opened her arms, "I missed you." she said as the redhead wrapped her own arms around her mother.
"I missed you too baby girl." Mythe whispered and smiled as she wrapped her arms around her surprised daughter.
"Women." Ira sighed shaking his head and propped his right arm on Giles' left shoulder, "Leave them alone long enough and the tears start."
"What was that?" A slightly miffed Shiva asked as she appeared behind the one time guardian, and causing him to jump.
Scratching the back of his head, Ira chuckled with an innocent smile, "G said it, not me." he grinned and turned back to his daughter and wife, ignoring the glare Giles sent his way, "How you been, girls?"
"Liar!" Shiva shrieked, causing the man to jump again.
"Blame it on me, will you!" Giles growled.
"Well, girls, it was nice seeing you and all...but I've gotta go!" Ira quickly hugged Tara, kissed Willow's forehead, and bolted.
The blue skinned woman smiled with a giggle escaping her lips, "Yes, it was lovely seeing you girls again, but I must being going. I have a man to freeze." the once Aeon laughed as she took off in the direction Ira had only moments before.
"I'll be following her." Giles smirked, "I have a sword that needs to be swung around near Ira's face." he said and hugged both Willow and Tara before following in Shiva's footsteps.
"Men" Shelia shook her head, and grinned at Mythe.
Shaking her head, Mythe sighed, "Aeons."
Both, Willow and Tara watched as their mothers...slinked...? toward each other, "I think our daughters had the right idea, don't you, Mythe?" Shelia caressed the ex-summoner's cheek with her forefinger, causing Willow's eyes to grow wide.
A light sigh escaped Mythe's lips as she pressed into the caress, "Yes, Shelia, I do." she answered, which caused Tara to blush as she turned away.
"Willow, love, is there something you want to tell me about your mother?"
"My mother?! What about yours?!"
"Oh, calm down both of you!" Mythe giggled, "You know, women get lonely when their man is off gallivanting around the Farplane."
Shelia nodded and wrapped her arms around Mythe, "Yes, besides neither one minds one bit at what we do in our free time, as long as we're still energetic when ever it is when they come in."
"Too much information!" Willow covered her ears at the same time as Tara cried out and blushed bright red. After a moment, Tara let her eyes roam around, once again, taking in the Farplane. She could hear rushing waterfall, and the little bees hovering around the different colored flowers, "Where IS dad anyway?" she asked turning around.
"As I said before baby girl, he's off gallivanting around the Farplane...as in RE-exploring...again! I don't know how many times he can do that and not get bored with it." the once summoner sat down -the girls noted-in Shelia's lap, "We've something to tell you."
Green eyes quickly cut toward, and met blue eyes, Willow was afraid to ask. Every time one or both of them were in the Farplane it was bad news, and now, it could be bad, or weird depending on the news...Dear Shiva, don't let them be getting married Willow thought as she sat down and pulled Tara on to her lap, That would just be...odd... I would be happy for them, but, still...
"Would you, sweet daughter, really be happy if we told you we were getting married?"
"Huh? You can read my thoughts now?!"
"Marriage?!" Tara shouted feeling faint, as both older women fell over laughing.
Willow stared at her mother, trying to figure out how she'd read her mind. Tara on the other hand didn't know what she wanted to do first, faint, or get answers, she settled on answers -and if it came to it, she could faint later. "What do you mean marriage?"
The older women calmed down, and regained their last position, Shelia sitting on the ground, and Mythe on her lap, "Daughter, Willow was thinking we were going to tell her we were getting married, and Shelia decided to tease her a little, that is all." she giggled again.
"How'd you read my mind?"
Shelia smiled, "This is the Farplane, sweetie, there is no reading to it, you were projecting your thoughts."
"Oh." Willow nodded, "Okay, that makes sense."
Tara shook her head, she really had an odd family...well, wife and mother...and mother-in-law, but she wouldn't give them up for anything. "What is the news you wanted to speak with us about?" That sobered the women up, and worried Tara and Willow to no end. If a single question could bring about the end of the smiles on both of their mother's faces, then something was wrong.
"What is it?"
"There is no easy way to say this, so I'll just come out and say it... There is something going on, a large power source as appeared out of nowhere. We do not know what it is, but it is very good at hiding it's power from us, even the Aeons."
Mythe sighed, Shelia was right, "It's bad, girls, real bad. Odd things has been happening, and none of us know what is going on. We only wanted to warn you ahead of time so you'll be ready."
Tara glanced at her wife with worried blue eyes before turning her attention back to her mother and Sheila, "Is Spira safe?"
How could either of them lie to their girls? Spira was in trouble, but not near as badly as other worlds, and they had been taking care of it -no one saw the need to worry them over something that small. But still, lie? They couldn't, so what should they tell them? "Spira is fine for now." A new voice spoke, and Bahamut appeared.
"Kou! Don't do that!" Mythe covered her heart with her hand.
"Is this true?" Willow asked her mother, she knew the Aeons tended to hide things.
Shelia nodded, "Yes, Spira is safe for now, there is nothing to worry you over, just be on the lookout for that power we spoke of, okay?"
"Okay, we can do that." Willow said, but was still a little uneasy as to the welfare of Spira, it was her...not just hers, but Tara's and the other's home too.
The young Aeon cocked his head to the right as he watched both girls, "Do not worry," he said, and decided to speak the truth, "We have been killing a few Heartless here and there, but it is nothing to worry about. Right now you need to worry about other things, leave the well being of Spira to us, here on the Farplane." he grinned and disappeared.
"Great. Now our home is in danger too." Willow growled, "I'm gonna kill every one of those damn things I come across, starting with that friggin' Phantom when I get back!"
"No!" Both Mythe and Shelia shouted, "You mustn't kill him!"
"Why in hellfire not?!"
Mythe waved her hand and the image of a handsome young man with pure white hair and a golden horn on his head appeared, "That is Helios, the pries of Elysion, and he must not be harmed." She said and continued after a moment, "He is of pure light; the Heartless captured him, and fused the darkness within his body, and in doing so corrupted him. You must help heal him."
With the others....
The entire group stared at the Phantom, no one dared let their guard down for fear it was a trick. Although no one knew exactly what the Heartless creature wanted, why had it said "No"? Did it...he want something? When the creature had spoke it had sounded like a man, or what had once been a man. The girls and their twins, plus Donald and Goofy, stood around Willow and Tara -not about to leave their side. The senshi stood, all glaring at the Heartless that had caused so many problems for them, and the inhabitants of the world they were on. Each girl had had to deal with him/it at one time or another, and knew the creature lived off fear -not to mention their attacks did no harm, only held him at bay.
"What do you what?" Haruka snarled out as she lifted her golden sword, and slightly stepped in front of Michiru.
The princess stared at the Heartless as he mulled over Haruka's question, to her it seemed as if the creature was thinking of how to answer, and she stepped forward, "Princess!" The inner senshi called out in surprise and tried to step in front of her.
"Stand down." Usagi ordered, "Everyone, please." She looked each of her guardians in the eyes, and nodded to the others, "He means us no ill will, he wants to be helped." she said softly with a smile in the Phantom's direction.
The Phantom blinked under his hood, how had that girl known? That was a stupid question, she could tell, it was in her nature, "The princess is right." Tara whispered as she opened her eyes and sat up.
"Don't harm him." Willow too opened her eyes and sat up, she rubbed her head, thanking the Fayth she did not have a headache.
"Please," The Phantom spoke in that horrid voice he now hated, "I want what I was...but what was that? Do you know...do you know who I was?" he asked with a slightly broken voice.
No one spoke as Tara, Willow and Usagi approached the Heartless, "You do not remember who you were?" The princess asked as she closed her eyes, and let her senses touch the Phantom, "You!" her eyes snapped open in surprise, "I can feel it...the power... Your power."
"Who is he?!" The group of senshi shouted, all wanted to know, and all were still on guard.
"Lower your hood." Tara said as she linked hands with Willow, "Let us see your face."
The Phantom heisted for just a second and did as was asked, he raised his hands, fingers grasping the hood, and slowly lowered it. Several things happened at once. Minako and Haruka fainted -later Haruka would be teased- only to be caught by their lovers. Ami quickly brought out her small computer, lowered her visor over her eyes, and began scanning -all the while mumbling about it not being right. Makoto's legs went weak, and she fell on her butt, and stared in confusion. Setsuna, the all knowing time guarding, felt her jaw hit the ground, right next to Hotaru's, she couldn't believe it, she was all knowing -yet she didn't know this! Rei's hands fell limply at her sides as she chaste herself for not knowing...not feeling the real power behind the Phantom. Michiru had almost let Haruka hit the ground, but had caught her lover in time, and now she could only stare in horror.
Clay and her group, Peter; the princesses and their lovers, Donald and Goofy, and Buffy and Faith all stared -wondering just what the hell had happed to the man they were looking at. None of them knew who he was, but it seemed like the senshi did, and from their reactions, it wasn't good.
The Phantom, no, the man who'd once been Helios stood in front of the three young women with his head down. His once pure white hair had turned grayish with black streaks. The bright golden eyes had turned an off yellow, and his pupils had changed into slits, making them look catlike. The magnificent golden horn on his head had turned a very off green color, as if it had never been cleaned, and his once milky white skin had turned gray in color -almost as if he'd been turned into a zombie. Helios, once a very handsome young man, now looked much like a monster to the senshi.
Usagi smiled sadly as she took in the appearance of her friend, and lay her hand on his cheek, "Do not worry, you will return back to your old self." she spoke softly and stepped back, holding her hand out, "Rei, love, please come over here."
The fire senshi did as was asked, and took her lover's hand as she stepped beside the princess, "What do we need to do?"
The blonde princess grinned, she knew Minako and Haruka were still unconscious, she turned and winked at the others, "Senshi! Front and center!" she ordered, and like magic, the leader of the senshi and Haruka snapped their eyes open, and in a flash they were beside their princess. "Princess Faith, Princess Tara, will you join us?"
The two princesses nodded and hurried over, "We are ready."
Willow kissed Tara and stepped back, she knew they only needed white based magic, "Bring him back love." she whispered.
The senshi, Usagi, Tara, Princess Tara, and Princess Faith stood in a circle around Helios, and linked hands. Rei began the chant, "Rin, pyou, tou, sha, kai, jin, retsu, sai, zen." As she began chanting the words over, the others joined in, each beginning to glow brightly. Their powers shot towards the sky, and began dancing around each other, almost like a waltz, and one by one they merged together. The now large ball of energy hovered in the air as if waiting for orders, and then shot through the air -heading toward Helios, "Akuryou taisan!" The group shouted just as the energy hit the once priest of Elysion, and exploded, sending a shockwave across the area.
Once the light died down, and the debris stopped falling, Willow looked up, "Did it work?" Clay asked as she stepped over with the others.
Helios lay on the ground, the hood covering his face, and he groaned, "That hurt." he said, and stopped, his voice! His voice was once again deep and smooth! The priest quickly stood on shaky legs, and sighed, now to see if it had really worked. Slowly he grasped the hood and pushed it back, and was rewarded with smiles from his friends, and the ones he'd tried to destroy, "Did it work?" he asked, repeating Clay's question.
"Yes, my friend, it worked, you're back!" Usagi laughed and launched herself at him, and much unbecoming of a princess, grabbed the priest in a bear hug, "You are back! We missed you so much!" she cried as her tears wet he now white suit, and the senshi gathered around, ready to greet their friend.
Tara and the princesses had backed away, and right into the arms of their lovers; Tara relaxed in Willow's embrace, and couldn't help but be happy that Helios was cured. "We did good didn't we?"
"Yes love, you and the others helped him return to normal." The redhead kissed her wife's neck, "We should be leaving soon."
"So soon?" Usagi turned, causing Willow to blink, that girl had good hearing.
"We have to deal with the Heartless." Donald said raising his staff in the air, "Otherwise something else might happen, like it did here."
A beautiful smile graced Helios' lips as he stepped over to Tara, "Thank you young maiden," he said and bestowed a kiss on the blonde's lips, causing Willow to narrow her eyes. "I must thank these two young maidens also." he smiled once more as he kissed princess Faith, and then princess Tara on the lips, and in doing so, caused their lovers to narrow their eyes. "I must be leaving to check on Elysion now, but I will visit you ladies again." he said to the senshi and in a flash he disappeared.
"Do come back and visit us again." Usagi embraced each and every one of the others, "My new friends, we will have a ball in your honor."
"There's no need for that." Clay said, truth be told, the girl hated any sort of party!
Willow number two smacked Clay up side the head, "Hey now, don't go saying, you know you want to." she smirked, sure her lover did not like parties, but a party is where they met the first time, and danced, she sighed.
"You're thinking about the SeeD ball aren't you?" Clay sighed and rolled her eyes, "You pulled me into that dance!"
"Sure, but you wanted to!"
Haruka chucked, "They sound like the princess and Rei..." the senshi of wind grinned at her two friends, "Just how did you become lovers any way, you never told us."
Rei's eyes widened as a blush spread across her face, "Yes, please come back. A ball is just what we need right now, and it would be more special in your honor." the Martian bowed.
Tara nodded, "If we have time, we will return."
"Okay, after you've defeated the Heartless, return here and we'll take you to our home." Usagi smiled and embraced each of the group once more, as did the senshi, and watched as they were teleported up to their ship to continue their mission. "Be safe, friends, Selene watch over them, and keep them safe."