Buffy, Willow, Xander and Giles are the children of the mind of Joss Whedon and owned by Mutant Enemy. David McWray is the creation of Tony McD. This arrangement of words is mine.
This story takes place shortly after Tony McD's marvelous Terra Australis Incognito. Much thanks bestowed upon my main Aussie, and yes, Mick Brumby from "JAG" is a walking stereotype! Besides, we want Mac to fall in love with Harm. Put Brumby on the same boat with Riley Finn and let them crash somewhere. (Most of you won't get that joke because in most American cities, JAG is on against Buffy.)
For those who aren't familiar with Terra Australis Incognito, Bill LaBarbara has it archived on his site, Sword and Chakram.
Spoilers; general fourth season stuff, with some twists. Plus of course, spoilers for Tony McD's story.
Rating; PG-13. Involves two women and a man in a permanent loving relationship. If that's illegal where you live, sorry. If you are personally offended by such a relationship, hey that's your problem. Takes all kinds to make a world.
Archives; If you have Terra Australis Incognito, go for it.
Feedback; it's like tin-roof sundae ice cream. Jim_D_Means@prodigy.net
Two weeks after the War of the Six, three long-time friends recall the past and face the future.
TERRA AUSTRALIS INCOGNITO;
La Vita Nuova
Written by Kirayoshi
"Naked lovers feel the blood beneath their veins.
Electric nerves communicate
With tiny explosions through our brains.
What is this energy that never left or came?
Gives rise to this passion, the only glory of this human story.
I gave my heart and soul to the one.
We spend all of our lives,
Going out of our minds
Looking back from our birth
Forward to our demise.
Even scientists say
Everything is just light,
Not created, destroyed,
But eternally bright.
Masters in every time
Lords in every place
Those who stood up for love,
Down in spite of the hate.
"We Stood Up For Love"
During the course of her young life, she had often stood in graveyards, but never one as immaculately kept as this one. The neat rows of headstones, manicured lawns and bright airy fields beyond were a far cry from the dank, unhallowed crypts and masoleums of Sunnydale.
She found the stone she sought, a neatly carved slab of marble bearing the following epitaph;
Major David McCray
Born December 1972
Died August 2000
"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"
Buffy nodded at the epitaph, remembering the last words of a brave man. "It is sweet and decorous to die for one's country." She placed a single dusky red rose on his grave. "You were a worthy opponent, David," she whispered. "And you were an even better ally. I saw too much of me in you, I guess. Maybe that's why I didn't like you. We were so much alike, and that part of me was something I always rebelled against. I dunno, maybe if we had the time to get past all that crap, we'd have been friends." She stopped, clearing her throat, which had grown dry.
"Well, I'll always think of you as a good friend anyway. Of course," she added, smiling slightly, "if Willow and Xander ever tell anyone I said that, I'll have to hurt them." She kissed her fingertips, then touched her fingers to the stone briefly. "Rest in peace, Crocodile Dundee. If anyone's earned it, it's you."
She walked away from the tombstone, away from the cemetary. Away from the last resting place of the last hero of the Twentieth Century.
Xander had been thumbing through "Terra Australis Incognito", the journal that David had written for him, detailing the visions and prophecies that David had seen during his trip through the Dreamtime, when he could feel the emotions playing around the edge of his psyche. Ever since that soulmate ritual, the one that revealed the soul bond that existed between himself, Buffy and Willow, Xander could sense when Willow and Buffy were near, and frequently their emotional states.
This has been both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, he treasured this closeness to his two best friends, more intimate than any merely physical relationship. On the other hand, the three of them had to learn to control this hyper-empathy quickly. More than once before the three of them learned to avoid broadcasting their emotions, Xander found himself pleasantly incapacitated by extreme sexual arousal when Buffy and Willow had made love. The two women were slightly embarrased when they found out they brought him to such a state, but were secretly flattered when he admitted that the first time he experienced their lovemaking by proxy, so to speak, was the greatest sexual experience of his life.
Too bad it had happened when he and David were busy planning strategies for their final battle with the demon Murg Dor. Bad timing.
But now, he could sense Willow in the back of his consciousness. And what he sensed made him uneasy. She was sad. He had an idea why, but knew that she needed someone to console her. He placed the book reverently on the table top, left his hotel room, and headed down the hall to the room where Buffy and Willow were staying. Buffy and Willow, his two closest friends.
No, friends didn't cover it. Simply didn't go deep enough to capture how he felt about those two. What place they held in his heart and soul.
Loves of his life, maybe? Soulmates? Sisters? All of the above?
And so much more, Xander decided. He had known Willow Rosenberg ever since nursery school, when he wondered if her bright red hair was in fact on fire. Since undergoing his own Dreamtime experience, he now possessed perfect memory of all the moments of his life. And he could not recall being truly happy before that fateful day, when his world had changed for the first time. The day when he met the girl who would ultimately become his closest friend.
Then there was Buffy, who was there when his world changed for the second time. When he learned that his father wasn't the only monster that he had reason to fear. When he discovered that vampires, demons and all those other things that were the stuff of nightmare really did exist. And that he had within him the ability to fight those monsters. And it was Buffy who had shown him the way. Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. Buffy, his other closest friend.
It had all gone sour earlier that year, that much he was certain. When he feared he was losing his two best friends, first when Buffy started hanging with Riley Finn, then when Willow had fallen for Tara McClay, finally when Buffy and Willow, having been hurt by their respective loves, turned to each other, and discovered the passion and love that they had both sought within each other.
Xander had been jealous of them for that. Not because he had always harbored a crush on Buffy, or because at some point he had realized that he was in love with Willow(too late for him), but because he knew that what they had together was finer, more pure, more satisfying than anything he had ever known with either Cordelia or Anya. In both cases, Buffy and Willow could only ask, "What were you thinking, Xander, and what organ were you thinking with?" A true assesment of the situation, Xander admitted ruefully. Again he was using his little head instead of his big one. Hormones were not a substitute for intelligence, he had decided.
Then came Murg Dor.
A powerful demon, one who knew his enemy, and struck first from within before attacking from without. A hate spell, that's what Giles called it. A spell that acted insidiously within the psyches of both Buffy and Willow without their even being aware of the magic being used against them. A spell that had turned their friendship for Xander to resentment, their fondness for their fellow Scoob into hatred. Xander was so devestated by what he had heard Buffy and Willow saying about him while under the spell's influence, that he had actually attempted suicide.
It was then when his new friend David McWray saved him. Not only from the demons of the Hellmouth, but his own personal demons. David McWray, a strange man from the Australian Special Air Services, knowledgable in aborinigal magicks and, incidently, the long lost son of Buffy's mentor and Watcher Rupert Giles. And in his own way as good a friend as Buffy and Willow had ever been to Xander.
He confronted Buffy and Willow, first beating the tar out of the Slayer, then forcing them both to experience the pain that they had inflicted on Xander. He then arranged to reverse the spell that had affected them, that had poisoned their hearts. David then insisted that Xander participate in a ritual that would allow him access to what the aboriginal people of Australia called the Dreamtime. His Dreamtime vision had given him insight into the plans of Murg Dor, as well as allowing him a glimpse of his own future. Defending Buffy and Willow, ever their white knight, especially during the coming War of the Six, a definitive battle between humans and Vampires.
As the growing threat of Murg Dor nearly cost Buffy her life during a patrol, David lead Buffy, Willow and Xander on a mission into the Dreamtime again. The plan was simple enough; contact their soul mates, bond with them, and through that bond they would enjoy limited invulnerability, from any injury not of tooth and claw. Xander had figured that Buffy and Willow had already found their soulmates in each other, and he was curious as to who his soulmate might be.
What no one had expected was that he had not one, but two soulmates. Buffy and Willow. The three of them were what David had called Trinity, the fulfillment of a prophecy that three would be bound together, by soul and by blood. The ritual not only identified them as soulmates, but sealed the deal, so to speak, by impregnating Willow with a baby born of all three of them. A semi-immaculate conception, Xander had called it. And their baby, this precious miracle that was developing within Willow's womb, was what Murg Dor was desperate to destroy. It was that baby that the others had fought to protect during the War of the Six.
It was that baby that David had died to protect.
Xander knew that the pain of his friend's loss would never go away, not fully, but it would fade. Like Jesse, like Jenny and Kendra, like those friends whom he had lost before. He would honor David, as he had honored the others, by living his life. In the end that was what David had taught him. We are only alive for so long. Live while we are alive.
And now, the three of them were in Australia. To bury their friend, and to begin the next chapter of their new lives. At David's request, they were aiding David's old team of vampire hunters, while Giles was establishing the new Slayer's Council, as a counter offense against a Watcher's Council that had long forgotten its purpose and now only strove for its own power. The three of them argued about it, Xander supported the plan wholeheartedly, while Buffy was uncertain about it. But Xander managed to convince her to try, so they agreed to make Australia their home, and aid the cause. And with the resources they now had as a result of David's connections, they knew that they could succeed.
But that was for a later consideration. Xander's friend was unhappy, and it was his duty to help if he could. He knocked on the hotel room's door, and asked, "You girls decent in there?"
"Yeah, Xander," Willow answered.
"Too bad," Xander grinned. "I'll come back when you aren't."
"Get your butt in here," Buffy growled playfully. Xander opened the door, and saw Buffy and Willow sitting at the foot of their queen-sized bed, Buffy consoling a down Willow.
Xander looked at their bed and commented, "You guys sure it's big enough?"
Willow looked up at Xander, nodding, a sly smile playing on her face. "A small bed's fine for close cuddling, but a queen bed's better if you want to cut loose." Buffy raised her eyes at Willow's comment, a canary-swallowing grin plastered on her face.
"Say no more, say no more," Xander quipped in a Cockney accent. "Hey, Willow, I could sense something from you from across the hall. You okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine," Willow answered. "It's just that Buffy's going away tomorrow. Besides," she pouted for effect, "I've been in Australia for two weeks and I haven't seen one koala bear!"
"I'll take you to the zoo tomorrow, Wills," Xander promised.
"Hey, don't worry about anything, Willow," Buffy comforted her friend and lover. "I'm only going to be gone for a week. I promised Giles and Sam Zabuto that I'd go over their plans for the new Slayer's Council."
"Which reminds me," Xander announced suddenly, and sprinted out of the hotel room. He returned a moment later, carrying two manilla envelopes. "Albert asked me to make sure you gave these to Giles and your mom, Buffy." He handed the envelopes to Buffy, who betrayed her curiosity by releasing the clasp on the first envelop and peeking inside.
"Round trip tickets to Australia," Buffy looked at the documents, "and all-access passes to the Sydney Olympics next month. Whoa, I'm amazed. This must have set him back beaucoup bucks, or pounds or whatever."
"Albert has connections," Xander smiled slyly. "Oh, he also swung passes for the games for us."
"Well, yay for Albert," Willow nodded happily. "I hope he didn't have to pull too many favors to score the passes."
"Oh, this is an investment for him," Xander explained. "He told me that he wanted to make connections with the American museum circuit to run exhibits of aboriginal artworks, and I happened to mention that your mom works at the Sunnydale museum, Buff,--"
"So the Olympic passes are by way of a bribe," Buffy reasoned, "so Albert can discuss museum stuff with Mom. I'm sure she'll love that. I'll make sure that they get the tickets, Xander." She lifted her hand to caress Willow's cheek, adding, "And don't worry, honey, I'll be back before your second trimester starts." Buffy kissed Willow lightly on the lips to assure her.
"Yeah, I know," Willow answered. "It's just that this will be the first time since we've become Trinity that we'll be apart."
"Wills," Xander sat on the other side of Willow, taking her hand in his, "I think that the point of this Trininty jazz is that we won't be apart. I mean, since the War of the Six, we've been apart before, as far as a whole city at times, and I could still feel your presence in my mind. Both of you. And I gotta say, it's the nicest thing I ever felt."
"Thanks, Xander," Willow said, kissing Xander's cheek. Buffy nodded her agreement.
"Xander's right, Wills. We could be a whole planet apart, and I could feel you. Which reminds me, Xander," Buffy turned to her other soulmate, an inscrutable gleam in her eyes, "if the two of you get the urge to get naked and sweaty while I'm away, please wait until I'm in my hotel room, so I can join in long-distance, so to speak."
Willow nodded, sharing Buffy's conspiratorial look. Xander hesitated, then said, "I'm not following you, Buff. What do you mean, 'naked and sweaty'?"
"I mean if the two of you are going to make love, Xander," Buffy answered as though explaining the obvious. "At least call my hotel first and make sure I'm not in a meeting with the Slayer's Council. I don't want to suddenly turn into Meg Ryan in the deli scene from 'When Harry Met Sally'."
Willow smiled broadly at Xander, who glanced around nervously, fidgeting madly. Willow looked at his blue jeans, and exclaimed happily, "Look, Buffy, it's Omar the collapsable tent-maker!"
"GAH!" Xander jumped out of his seat, trying to cover his erection with his hands. Buffy and Willow started to tremble, then burst into giggles, until finally they rolled on the bed laughing. Xander recovered from his embarrasment long enough to glare at his two soulmates. "Okay guys, funny funny. Seriously, Buffy, I don't think that you guys have anything to worry about, seeing as how I'm not going to put the make on Willow. She and I don't have sex. Now or ever. We clear on that?"
"Why not?" Buffy asked.
Xander blinked and looked at Buffy, searching for signs that she was teasing him again. He could sense no malice, nor any humorous ribbing from her friend. He then looked at Willow, who simply glanced at Buffy, then back at Xander, asking, "Yeah, why not?"
"Uh, guys," Xander started to feel seriously on the spot. "Well, for one thing, I respect you guys too much to do anything stupid like that. For another thing, well, what we got's not about sex, I mean, it's so much more than that."
"Come here, Xander," Buffy reached her hand up to take Xander's hand again. She bade him sit down between her and Willow, who scooted out of the way. As Xander sat, Willow scooted back, until she was touching Xander's side. Xander was keenly aware of his friend's proximity, and he tried desperately to control his reaction to her closeness.
Buffy, smiling at Xander's reactions, continued. "You're right, Xander, what we have isn't based on sex, or anything physical. But I feel that way about Willow, and we make love together. Why shouldn't it be the same with our other soulmate?"
"We love you, Xander, deeply," Willow continued, turning Xander's head with her forefinger. "And we both want to show you that love. Why should a physical expression of that love bother you?"
"Because I did the physical thing with Anya, and look where that landed me?" Xander quipped, "Deep in the heart of Nowheresville!" Buffy and Willow winced in sympathy. "I care too much about you guys to screw that up, figuratively or literally. Besides," Xander coughed uncomfortably, "last I checked, weren't you guys, well, uh--gay?"
"Oh, that," Buffy grinned. "Technically, Xander, we're bisexual."
"Yep, that's us," Willow chirped merrily. "Bi 'til we die."
"Oh," Xander answered. "I guess that makes me straight 'til I'm in the crate." As he looked at the blank expressions on Willow and Buffy's faces, Xander backed up. "I mean, in the crate, like in the grave, toes up, pushing up daisies? Okay, I was going for the rhyme. But the point is, I'm still new to this whole Trinity business, I don't want to get you two mad at me by my clumsy attempts at seduction. I love you guys more than I've ever loved anyone before." Xander could feel tears forming in his eyes, but he didn't care. These were his closest friends, his destined companions. He would never lie to them, even if it were possible. "I never want to do anything that would jeopardize that."
Willow's smile was tinged with sadness; did Xander still feel that somehow he didn't deserve the love that she and Buffy were freely offering him? "I understand, Xander. And the answer is no, you could never do anything that would make us think less of you."
"We want you in our lives, Xander," Buffy continued, her face drawing closer to Xander's. "And by that, I mean in any and every way possible. In mind, in heart, and in body." She was now a breath away from him, and she silently closed the gap, kissing Xander on the lips. So lost was Xander in the softness of Buffy's mouth and the faint scent of her perfume, that he almost didn't notice the lips that kissed the back of his neck. "We want you, Xander. We love you. Stay with us tonight."
Xander looked at his two loves, his two soulmates. Two years ago(Who am I kidding, he thought, three months ago!) this would have constituted his greatest adolescent fantasy. Two gorgeous bisexual women offering to share him. But this was so much more than any simple wet dream. There was a rightness to it, a sense of inevitability. He had found his destined lifemates in his two closest friends.
He was so moved by their sincerity, and their open and unfeigned desire to share their love with him, body and soul, that he couldn't even bring himself to be glib about it. "I would be honored," he said simply, taking Buffy's hand, then Willow's, and kissing their hands in turn. "Just let me get used to the idea first. Besides, we have all night."
Buffy and Willow nodded their agreement. "Yeah," Buffy said, "This is our last night together before I go back to Sunnydale, I want to spend it with the two people I love most."
"Plus, we should eat first," Willow suggested.
"Room service!" Buffy and Xander chorused. Buffy reached for the phone, and asked, "Who wants what?"
Soon, their dinner orders were taken, and ten minutes later, a valet brought in a fancy cart, laden with three servings of lasagna, a generous Ceasar's salad, a carafe of milk, a pitcher of apple juice(as a consession to Willow, Buffy and Xander both took the pledge for the duration of her pregnancy), and three slices of chocolate chip cheesecake. Once the valet departed, Xander passed the dinner plates and silver around, as the girls dug in. They sat together on the bed as they ate and talked animatedly about their future.
"First thing we do when I get back from Sunnydale," Buffy said between dinner and desert, "is go house hunting. Something in a three bedroom job, plenty of space outside for our kid to run around in."
"Wait," Xander asked. "Three bedrooms?"
"One for us," Willow said, pointing between herself and Buffy, "one for the kid, and one for you."
"Oh," Xander said simply, his spirits sagging. Buffy picked up on that immediately, and placed her hand on his knee. "Hey, Xander, don't get the wrong idea. The three of us being together and loving together, that's not a one-time deal. It's just the part about you sleeping with us that's a sore spot."
"Yeah, Xander," Willow assured him. "We love you, don't get me wrong, but, well, you snore like a asthmatic water buffalo."
Xander's face turned red and he started to fume; "I do NOT snore!"
"Trust me, Xand," Buffy argued, smiling, "you snore. Remember that Yhi-ja experience of yours? Twice that week I thought that a train was passing Giles' place."
Xander looked slightly mollified, but the ladies' good-natured smiles, coupled by the genuine love and support that Xander felt empathically combined to assure him of his place in their lives and hearts. "That bad, huh?"
"Me, I don't have a problem with it," Willow defended herself, "I mean, I grew up with it, whenever you and I had sleepovers when we were six. But, well, Buffy, you know, Slayer hearing and all that."
"I thought you two stopped sleeping over when he stole your Barbie," Buffy commented.
"Hey, he's a hard habit to break," Willow smiled wickedly. The innocent-enough memories that accompanied her smile were nearly enough to cause Xander to choke on the last bite of his cheesecake. He chuckled lightly at the childhood memories, him, Willow and Jessie, the Three Musketeers, the We Hate Cordelia Club. Now he looked at Willow and Buffy again, grateful to be part of such a wonderful relationship with his two closest friends.
The moment the first tear formed in Xander's eye, both Buffy and Willow knew it. Buffy reached out to Xander, taking his hand in hers. "Hey, Xand, it's okay," she soothed.
Xander looked away from Buffy's blue-hazel eyes, only to catch Willow's green ones. Hit hard by two waves of compassion from opposite sides, Xander felt a huge lump in his throat. "Is it, guys?" He choked back a sob.
Buffy and Willow took Xander in their arms, in a generous group hug. All the while soothing him with their words, with gentle caresses and kisses. "Hey, Xander," Willow asked, "What's wrong?"
Xander collected himself long enough to answer his lifelong friend. "It's just that all this, all you've done for me, after all the mistakes I've made."
"Hey," Buffy assured Xander, rubbing small circles in the back of his neck, using their empathic link to guide her hands to where Xander was most sensitive. "I've pulled some bonehead plays myself. I mean, you're not the one who ran away from home after sending her boyfriend to Hell."
"No, I'm just the one who lied about what Willow was doing," Xander said sadly. Buffy and Willow waited patiently for Xander to finish, knowing that he needed to bare his soul. "She sent me to you, Buffy, to tell you that she was going to use the Orb of Thessula to restore Angel's curse, to give him his soul back."
"And instead," Willow said simply, "you told her, 'kick his ass'."
"Yeah, but--" Xander suddenly looked at Willow. "How did you know that?"
"Empathy, remember?" Willow answered, tapping her forehead. "We have your memories now. We know what happened, and why you did what you did."
"And you're cool with that?" Xander asked.
"We were mad at first," Buffy answered. "For about five seconds. But we know why you lied to me, Xander. You thought that there was no choice, that it was the right thing to do."
"No," Xander corrected her, "I did it because I wanted Deadboy in Hell."
"Well," Buffy smirked, "maybe there was a little of that. Look, what I'm trying to say here is that you've done so much more for us than you think."
"Yeah," Willow concurred. "You always stood by us, even without any backup like being the Slayer, or a Witch, or anything like that."
"Remember Jack O'Toole?" Buffy quizzed them. Willow nodded, and Xander gasped. "Hey, wait up, I never told anyone about Jack O'Toole!"
"We know about him now, Xand," Buffy smiled. "How you stopped him from blowing us up while Faith and I were fighting the Sisterhood of the Jhe. If it weren't for you, the Sisterhood would have won, the Hellmouth would be open for business, and, well, do the figuring."
"Yeah, Xander," Willow added. "Hey, who rallied the Class of '99 against Mayor Wilkins? Who figured that Murg Dor was after our baby?" Xander had to smile at Willow's words of praise. "You're not a Slayer, or a wiccan, or a vampire, or a werewolf, or anything like that. You're a human being. But you still fight the good fight, you still manage to find the funny side no matter how hairy things get. That takes real courage."
"Even if my first reaction is to run like hell in the opposite direction?"
"Hey," Buffy answered, her every word an affirmation. "You get scared. I get scared. Willow gets scared. The logical reaction to a typical Friday night in Sunnydale is to get scared. But Wills and I, we have our edge. I'm the Slayer, she's a badass wiccan. You're just Xander. And you're still in there, still pitching." She held him a little closer, and kissed him lightly on the lips. "You're my hero, Xander."
Her lips lingered on Xander's, and he tasted the faint remains of marinara sauce on her mouth. "Hey," Willow chirped. "Save some for me."
"Oh, sorry," Xander's face flushed slightly. "Sorry, Willow."
"Actually, I was talking to Buffy." Buffy chuckled as Willow's smile grew broader, and her eyes began to smolder with passion. Buffy moved aside, as Willow took Xander's face in her hands, and kissed him. Any lingering doubts that Xander may have harbored concerning his newly redefined relationship with his two soulmates was washed away by a pleasing flood of desire, devotion and tenderness.
He disengaged the kiss, but still held Willow close, while Buffy moved around the two to hold them both tightly. "I wish it didn't take me this long to figure out how much I love you, Willow. Might have saved us both some time."
"Shush," Willow gently placed her forefinger on his lips. "It took as long as it needed to take. We have each other now, all three of us. Now we are complete."
Buffy started to unbutton her shirt, as Willow placed her hand on Xander's chest, making him lie down with the slightest pressure. Buffy gave Xander a Cheshire Cat grin, and said, "David told me that because of your Yhi-ja experience, you now possess perfect memory of every experience of your life."
"Yeah, something like that," Xander admitted. "Has its upside, but has its drawbacks as well."
"I know," Willow replied sympathetically, as she sat behind Xander. Having grown up with Xander, she knew how unpleasant his homelife was. She placed his head in her lap, and started to slowly open the front of his shirt. "I wish with all my heart that I could take those terrible memories away."
"No, Wills," Xander said to his beloved. "My memories, even the bad ones, are a part of me, of who and what I am."
"We understand, Xander," Buffy nodded, as she slipped out of her shirt, revealing a white lace bra. With a deft movement of her hands behind her back, the bra dropped from her shoulders, revealing her nude figure. Xander could hear Willow growl with approval, a lustful sound that echoed his own thoughts. Willow quickly unzipped the fly of his jeans, relieving pressure on his suddenly erect manhood.
"We can't erase your old memories," Buffy promised, as she leaned forward, molding her body to Xander's, "but tonight, we can make new ones." Xander shivered at the skin-to-skin touch, knowing that what was going to happen tonight went beyond any mere erotic fantasy or Penthouse letter.
The three lovers divested each other of their remaining garments, and bonded together as they were destined to. And for the first time in his turbulant life, Alexander LaVelle Harris knew complete peace, complete joy.
He had been concerned about his performance in the erotic arena, but the empathic bond that the three shared enhanced the experience, making him aware of what pressures, touches and strokes pleased his two partners, while Buffy and Willow quickly became as attuned to his body as they were to each other. When one climaxed, the others felt it as well, which spurred them on to a greater pace. When the last of their strength was spent, they were content to simply lie together, languidly touching and kissing each other.
Together, Buffy, Willow and Xander were complete.
Many hours later, as three very sated friends lay together, limbs entwined, Xander merrily said to the two women, "I want to marry you both, you know that?"
"We know," Buffy chuckled. "Too bad it's illegal."
"Yeah," Willow murmured into Xander's shoulder, twirling his chest hair around her finger, "that's bigamy."
"Yes," Xander drawled, "and it's big of me too. It's big of all of us, let's be big for once." The two girls groaned, and threatened to kick him out of the bed right then and there, as Xander defended himself. "Hey, it's Groucho Marx. 'Animal Crackers'."
Buffy stifled a chuckle as Xander slowly extricated his limbs from the tangle on the bed. "Don't worry about it, Xand. What do you think that Trinity bonding was about? We are as married as anyone has ever been." She took Willow's hand in her own and bade Xander to place his hand on theirs. "We are one. Together. The three of us, and the child Willow is carrying. We're family."
Xander rested his other hand on Willow's abdomen, fancying that he could feel a second heartbeat. "I hope it's a girl," Xander whispered. "And that she looks like a cross between the two of you."
"Hey, your genes are mixed up in there somewhere," Willow grinned. "How about your eyes and Buffy's complexion?"
"And your hair, Wills," Buffy contributed.
"I'll be chasing off boys with a stick once she hits her teens," Xander grimaced. "Boys that were just like me when I was their age." The shared mental image caused the three of them to burst into giggles, and they hugged each other again.
After many minutes, Xander reluctantly broke off the hug. "I'd better be heading back to my room. Let me grab my clothes." He slowly climbed off the bed, as Buffy and Willow pulled him back briefly for one last kiss goodnight.
"There's a spare hotel robe in the closet," Buffy muttered sleepily. Xander nodded silently as he collected his clothes, located and donned the thick white terry robe, and took one last longing look at the two women who now lived forever in his heart. "I love you, Buffy, Willow," he whispered to the two women as they drifted off to sleep.
"We love you, Xander," Buffy and Willow chorused. Xander, his heart swelling with love and affection, his eyes misting with tears, departed for his room.
He found himself unable to sleep, memories of making love with two goddesses still fresh in his mind. He sat in a comfortable desk chair, and picked up his treasured copy of David's journals, "Terra Australis Incognito". He noticed an inscription that David had written on the very first page, one that Xander hadn't fully understood before now, but knew that David meant it for him;
"In that part of the book of my memory before which is little that can be read, is a rubric, saying, Incipit Vita Nova.(Here begins the new life)"
"La Vita Nuova"
Xander smiled sadly, remembering his friend. David was right, he knew that now. His old life was over. And a glorious new life was ahead of him.
And for the first time in a long time, tomorrow couldn't come fast enough for Xander Harris.