Faith and Buffy had sat down in two chairs across from the bed, and took a deep breath. The smell of blood was gone and only the sweet scent of vanilla, and cherries could be detected.
Faith watched closely as Willow rubbed her hands over her face before wrapping her arms around Tara's waist, and leaning in to leave a soft kiss on her neck. Tara was shaking as she glanced around the room before leaning back into Willow's comforting embrace.
"Well? What the hell happened? We leave for fifteen minutes, and come in here to find a fucking death scene!" Faith asked angrily.
"I don't really know!" Tara shouted. "After I laid Willow on the bed, wounds started appearing. First one on her shoulder, and then her bicep and stomach. You see this!?" Tara asked tossing an empty vial to Faith. "That was a Phoenix Down! Dammit! After the wound on her stomach appeared, her throat was cut open! After that I could smell blood, and saw the bodies appear, and then it felt like I couldn't breathe and everything went dark."
Faith looked from the empty vial to Willow. "Alright, what about you?"
Willow was gently rocking Tara back and forth, leaving soft kisses on her neck and shoulder. Keeping her eyes forward she recalled what had happened and shivered.
"Like Tara, I don't know. I was in the Den of Woe in the middle of several bodies. They were all over the damn place! Lying on the floor. Hanging from the walls. Shot, stabbed, or throats cut or ripped out. A woman's voice asked if I knew where I was. I answered: the Den of Woe. And asked what'd happened. The voice said: I did. Right before I was attacked. Just like Tara said the wounds were on my shoulder, bicep, stomach, and my throat was cut open." Turning her head she stared into Faith's eyes. "I could feel myself dieing in that cave as the voice laughed saying: 'You can't have her. The girl is mine, not yours.' I tried to speak, but the only thing coming out of my mouth was blood."
Faith closed her eyes and pushed the visions out of her mind. Buffy shivered remembering the blood covering both girls, and looked Willow over. Dried blood covered her body starting from her neck down to the top of her leather shorts.
Tara was in no better shape, the blood that had been on her had soaked through her white shirt turning it red. Faith stood clenching her fists as she began to pace around the room. Buffy watched her -trying to stay calm- knowing none of this was any good.
"Look. I don't know what the hell is going on, but right now you both need to shower and get the blood off you." Buffy said and gave a small smile. "Me and Faith will change your sheets while you shower, okay?"
"Yeah, sure." Willow nodded nudging Tara to stand, and led her to the bathroom.
Once the door closed Tara latched on to Willow as tears ran down her cheeks, and buried her face in Willow's neck. Willow held Tara and slowly rocked them from side to side, all the time kissing her neck. "I thought I'd lost you for good."
"It's okay baby."
"How can you say that, Will!" Tara asked pulling back.
Willow smiled slightly and cupped Tara's face and looked into blue eyes. "Because, I'm right here, and I'm not going anywhere." She said and gently kissed Tara to prove her point. "I love you, Tara. And no one will ever take me from you. Now let's get this get outta these cloths and shower, okay?"
Nodding Tara let a small grin spread across her face, as Willow began undressing her.
When the bathroom door closed Buffy stood and wrapped her arms around Faith to stop her pacing. "Love, calm down. We can't get outta shape over this, we don't know what's going on."
"I know, but it just pisses me off. I grew up with Tara, and nearly died when she became a Summoner. I just knew I...we all were going to lose her. And I'll admit, I didn't like Will at first, but as we journeyed I slowly began to grow attached to her. I started respecting her when she went after Glory. And now, she, just like Tara, is my sister. Now look, someone, or something, if fucking with them, and I don't know how to help!"
"Don't worry, we defeated Sin and without losing Tara. I'm sure we can beat whatever the hell is screwing with them, now." Buffy said turning Faith around and kissing her. "Come on, I said we'd get them clean sheets."
Willow moaned when Tara's hands cupped and squeezed her breasts, as she slowly kissed her way down Willow's stomach, and back up. Placing her hands on Tara's hips she pulled her into her body, pressing their lips together.
Turning she pressed Tara up against the shower wall and grinned, kissing, licking and sucking her way down Tara's neck. Bypassing Tara's breasts altogether, she left soft kisses down her stomach and reached her goal.
Buffy dropped the pillow she was holding and squeezed her eyes shut as the room began to smell of blood. Faith turned and saw several bodies appear, lying on the floor, and backed up. She slipped in a pool of blood that had appeared under her feet and fell to the floor.
Buffy stifled a scream when a body appeared at her feet and helped Faith up. Both girls flew into the wall as an invisible force hit them. Hard. Groaning Faith stood keeping her eyes forward, as she helped Buffy to stand.
"What the fuck!" Faith shouted as she was thrown back across the room, and saw Buffy hit the bedroom door. The room was now exactly as it was when they had first entered, bodies and blood covering the floor and walls.
Tara had her hands buried in Willow's wet hair with her eyes tightly shut, and her body tensed, as she was taken over the edge, and cried out Willow's name, before sliding to her knees. The hot water splashed on Willow's back as Tara rested her head on her shoulder, breathing heavily. "I love you, Will."
The room went completely dark before exploding in a bright white light, causing both Faith and Buffy to shut their eyes. As the light began to die down a woman's voice could be heard screaming in rage, the bodies, and blood was gone, leaving behind the scent of vanilla and cherries. Looking at one another both girls could see, even the blood on them had vanished, and sighed.
"Let's uh, keep this to ourselves, okay?" Faith said standing.
"Sure, I don't want to worry anyone about what just happened." Buffy said sitting down on the bed with a groan. "But I'll hurt like a bitch, tomorrow."
"Yeah." Faith nodded planting herself in a chair.
Five minutes later the bathroom door opened allowing two happier women to step into the room.
"Feelin' better?" Buffy asked standing.
"Lots." Willow grinned and squeezed Tara's ass.
"I can see that." Faith smirked causing Tara to blush, and grin.
The girls turned toward the door as Shinra ran into the room out of breath. "I'm sorry to interrupt, but Spira's falling apart with the leaders of the groups missing."
"Great! Just fucking great! What the hell do they want us to do?" Faith all but screamed.
"Don't know, but the fighting between New Yevon and the Youth League has worsened." Shinra said as he turned toward the door. "Tara? If you feel up to it, you should check out the video feeds... and maybe talk to some of the men and women."
Tara nodded to the boy watching him run back to the bridge, and started out the door with Willow behind her.
"Let's go see what those morons are doing now." Buffy said sighing as she and Faith followed.
When they walked into the bridge they stopped short just inside the door. Dawn was yelling at someone on her screen. Shinra had papers all over his consol as he typed and shouted in Al Bhed to another person on his screen. Mizu was threatening a New Yevon man on her screen as he yelled at her.
"What the hell is going on?!" Buffy shouted causing everyone to shut up.
"New Yevon is saying it's our fault that Baralai disappeared!" Mizu said, the turned back to the man cussing him out in Al Bhed -and flipping him off- before cutting the link.
"Dra Youth League ec kaddehk nayto du yddylg New Yevon!" (The Youth League is getting ready to attack New Yevon!) Dawn shouted as she turned toward her screen showing Yaibal.
"What!" Willow shouted and approached the screen. "You moron! What do you think you're doing?"
Yaibal shook his head. "But we've had reports that they are gearing up to attack us! So, as you can see we didn't start this, it was them! Now if you'll excuse me. I have to get ready." Yaibal said and cut the link.
Sighing she turned to Shinra and watched him cut the link with the Al Bhed camp in Bikanel. "Well? What's up with them?"
"More diggers are dead."
Mizu groaned when her consol beeped, hitting the button she sighed when she saw Xander on the other end. "Hey there, is everything going okay?"
"Yeah, it's good here. Is Tara and Will around?"
"Right here Xander." Willow said approaching the screen with Tara at her side. "What's up?"
"Any more fiends?" Tara asked worriedly.
"Nope. It's been pretty quiet. But Beclem is still runnin' around griping about the temple."
"He better not touch the temple!" Faith growled.
"Don't worry he's gonna be leaving soon. The Youth League wants him back. Good riddance, ya?"
"Got that right." Willow sighed and grunted when Tara gently elbowed her stomach.
"Listen. Don't worry about Besaid, me and Anya has everything under control."
"Thanks Xander." Tara smiled as the link was cut.
Mizu leaned back in her chair staring out the window. "Well, the three big shots are still missing. We're getting blamed for Baralai; Vegnagun still running around somewhere, and New Yevon and the Youth League is fixing to start a war. And here I thought it was going to be a beautiful day."
Willow shook her head. "Yeah, but, we know Tsuki is controlling Vegnagun."
"I wonder if Nooj and the others are trying to destroy it..." Buffy trailed off with a sigh.
"Maybe, you never know." Faith said sitting on the floor.
"Ooh! Nothing makes sense anymore." Buffy sighed as she sat in Faith's lap. "I mean just what in the hell are we suppose to do!"
"Nooj spoke to me on the Farplane. He said to take care of things topside. So, what can I do to help everyone calm down?"
"Dance!" Dawn shouted happily causing everyone to turn toward her.
"I don't think seeing Tara dance will help." Faith said then cocked her head to the right. "Well, I can't speak for Will." She grinned as both Willow and Tara blushed bright red.
"No! Like Leblanc did in Luca! Tara put on Concert!"
"Great idea, sis!" Buffy shouted jumping up and danced around the room. "We just gotta get Tobli's help to spread the word! Set course for the Moonflow!"
Tara went from blushing bright red to horrified. "Don't I get a say in this?!" she asked as Dawn started the ship.
"Come on, Tara! It's a great idea. Look at all the people who was in Luca to see you!" Buffy giggled as Tara glared.
"Yeah, baby!" Willow laughed causing Tara to glare at her.
When the girls got off the ship they saw Tobli running toward the Moonflow entrance and followed, not seeing the three Al Bhed men chasing from behind. Reaching the bend near the Moonflow/Djose entrance Tobli flew by on a hover nearly running them over.
"What the hell!" Faith shouted from the bushes she had jumped into to avoid being hit.
The Al Bhed men had also jumped into the bushes and cursed as they stepped back on to the road, instead of chasing after Tobli they headed toward the girls. Willow hid her grin as they passed by; shaking her head she led the way back to Tobli's camp.
"Hi, hi, what can I do for you?" Tobli asked when he saw the girls.
Buffy excitedly told him what she had planned causing him to jump up and down right along with her, with a smile on his face. Tara was hiding her face in Willow's shoulder hoping to get out of what Buffy had planned. Willow and Faith quietly laughed as she groaned.
"So? What do you think?" Buffy asked the excited man.
"Spectacularly spectacular! 'Twill be a yummy Tarapalooza indeed!" Tobli shouted causing Tara to give a horrified groan, and Willow to burst out laughing. "I most definitely, definitely want to arrange it! Can I, can I?"
"Yup-yup!" Buffy giggled.
"So, where should it be?"
"There has to be enough room for everyone to gather." Faith said grinning.
"Aha! How 'bout the Thunder Plains? Yes! You could practically pack a plethora of people in that place!"
Willow squeezed Tara and grinned, "Now, how do we get people to come?"
"Leave that to me!" Tobli said pressing a button and waited for a moment before fifty Hypello walked over.
Dawn sat the ship down near the camp and waited as Tobli and the Hypello to board. She sat down in Besaid, then Kilika, then Luca, and Mi'ihen. From there she sat down in Mushroom Rock Road, then close to Bevelle, then on to the Calm Lands. With the last of the Hypello deployed and telling everyone of the concert, she sat the ship down in the middle of the Thunder Plains and let the girls off.
Hurrying toward the Al Bhed shop they watched as Dawn headed off to start picking up the concertgoers, and headed into the shop. From the windows they would see the ship drop people off every thirty minutes. They received a transmission two and a half hours later, and headed back to the ship to get ready.
"What are you gonna sing?" Buffy asked fifteen minutes later as they headed toward the bridge.
Tara stopped and closed her eyes, as she began to hum, opening her eyes she saw the others staring at her. "What?"
"Whoa! Did you write that?" Faith asked surprised.
"No, its like... I'm feeling it deep down inside. I can sort of hear it echoing inside me."
"Must be Lenne." Willow said glancing at Tara
"That's what I think. Though I don't know much about her... I'm learning more and more. Bits and pieces of her memories keep pouring in. And it's like I can feel what she was feeling."
"Thus shall Lenne's scattered thoughts be woven into bittersweet song... Something like that?" Buffy asked smiling.
"That was poetic." Tara said causing Buffy to giggle.
"Hurry, the people are starting to argue, and fighting won't be far behind!" Dawn said when they entered the bridge.
"I'll bring it up on the consol." Shinra said pressing a couple of buttons.
When the screen rose up it showed the New Yevon group and the Youth League fighting. Some were pushing the others around, only to be pushed from behind by another man or woman.
"Well, shit!" Buffy stomped her foot. "Can't they just stop for ten minutes?"
"I'll bring up the audio." Shinra pushed another button and the bridge was assaulted with the sounds of arguing, and shouting.
[Outside the ship]
"I can't believe the damn Yevonites are here, too!" A young Youth League woman said glaring at the New Yevon members. "How am I supposed to enjoy Lady Tara's concert with them here?"
"Ha! You Youth League dogs will never be worthy of hearing the High Summoner sing!" An older Yevon priest shouted.
"If the praetor were here, he'd never let these maggots walk around, spouting their nonsense!" Another priest said.
"And if Nooj were here, he'd have already sent you Yevonites to the Farplane!" A young man said and hit the priest.
"Don't they ever stop?" Tara asked watching the two men fight.
"Really!" Buffy groaned as two more men joined in the fight.
"Well, what do you think?" Willow asked and winced, as a Thunder spell hit two of the men.
"I think its time to stop the fighting!" Tara said and turned toward the door.
"Let's go!" Faith said and led the way to the top of the ship.
[Somewhere inside a deep dark cavern.]
"But My Lord!" Shouted an unsent solider.
"No! You will listen to me, and I say it is not yet time! Do you understand?" An old man with a black leather suit said dangerously, as he sit on a throne made of skulls.
Sighing the solider nodded. "Yes, My Lord. I understand, but I am just worried about you. If you do not get the new li..." before he knew it the solider was being held up by hit throat.
"I told you! Don't worry about it; I know what I am doing! I have been around a lot longer than you, boy! Now shut it, or I'll send you to the Farplane myself!" The old man growled and threw the solider across the room, and glared at the other unsent in the room. "That goes for all of you also! Understand!"
The unsent nodded and spoke 'Yes, My Lord' in unison as the man sat back on the throne.
A priest stepped into the room and took a look around. "My Lord." He bowed. "All you have to do is say the word." The priest said rising.
"Good, I will tell you when it is time to get what I need. Until then, do not worry about it." He said with an evil grin and leaned his head back and laughed.
The priest and the unsent smiled evilly as they watched the old man knowing that the time was nearing, and was ready for it.