“I’ve loved him for a long time, Tara. Longer than you can imagine. I figured that out about two months into our second lives.” To her credit, Kennedy didn’t miss a beat and this surprised Tara on some level.
“But you don’t love him ‘that way’, do you.”
“Nope,” Kennedy said with a shake of her head. “Otherwise we’d have been home by now. It’s… it’s a hard thing, you know? To love someone but not love them the right way?”
“Trust me, I know. Xander… he completes me,” Tara said, her eyes going distant. “It’s like we were made for each other, but there isn’t that spark. Tab A can go into Slot B but without that… that…”
“Spark. Yeah, I know. And nice sexual reference, by the way. Very Sex Ed with a hint of embarrassed mother.”
Tara snorted, “Embarrassed? My mother was mortified when we had that talk. Then again, I was nine, so that might have had something to do with it.”
“Nine? Wow. You work fast, don’t you. Tell me,” Kennedy asked, leaning in close, “did he do that thing with his tongue? And I’m not talking about the alphabet, either, though that’s fun, too. Especially when he gets into Arabic.”
Tara’s face did a passingly good impression of Willow’s in full blush as she was able to eventually sputter out, “No! Oh, ewww! He’s… I… no. We were _nine_! You’re sick, Kennedy.”
Kennedy shrugged, “Alright, geez, I get it. I just know what it’s like and I wanted to know if you’d done it, too.”
“No, we haven’t,” Tara said with a great deal of force but Kennedy could tell that the blonde young woman’s mind had accepted the seed that Kennedy had planted. With any luck, it would grow strong, healthy and ripen sooner rather than later and she’d get to watch and see what color Xander turned when Tara asked him about it. “So,” Tara said, trying to change the subject, “how long do you think it will be before we get a call to bail one or both of them out of jail?”
Kennedy thought about it for a second and then shrugged, “Eh, twenty four hours from now.”
“Really? Are you that optimistic?”
“Not really, but knowing Xander, whatever trouble he’s gotten himself into will put him to ground for the next six or twelve hours. He’s good at hiding, you know?”
“And what about Willow? The other Willow,” Tara corrected herself.
Kennedy grimaced. Willow, the Elder, was the wildcard. “Alright. Thirty six hours.”
Tara nodded, “Starting… now. Um…”
Tara hemmed and hawed for a second before she finally asked, “Arabic?”
As it turned out, it was thirty seven hours, five minutes and six seconds before the call came. Sadly, for both Kennedy and Tara, it wasn’t from a jail to bail the pair out; it was from a no-tell motel to tell them the pair were coming home. Through a series of events that even Kennedy had a hard time believing, Willow was now a solid citizen, though her name had been changed to Drusilla Edith Harris (and boy had _that_ been a story to pry out of Xander while Willow…. Drusilla… was smacking him) and she was now his wife.
That revelation had left Kennedy more than a little stunned. Wife. Xander and Wi- Drusilla were now _married_. He’d done what she and Willow would never have been able to do unless the laws changed or they left the US. Part of her was utterly pissed at this fact, at the unfairness of it, but another part was oddly happy about it. Maybe she could live vicariously through Xander… after she’d had her fun with Willow, of course. This was a perfect opportunity that could not be passed up and, what’s more, she had help in the form of Tara. “So how do you think Buffy and Willow are going to take this?”
Tara shrugged, sipping her tea, “I’m not sure. You’ve known them longer.”
“Alright, fair point. How are _you_ handling this?”
“Yeah, right,” Kennedy snorted and looked over at Tara with a complex mix of emotions. “I know what it’s like. Right now you don’t know what to feel; anger, joy, loneliness… they’re all there.“
Tara sighed and put her tea down with enough force to cause a little to slosh out of the top, “I’m angry. I know it’s irrational but I’m angry.”
“You think it should be you. That’s how the fairytale is supposed to go, right? The princess gets her princess… prince,” Kennedy amended when Tara gave her a look, “and live happily ever after. But that’s not how the story ended. Someone new got dropped into the line of fire of Cupid’s arrow and now they’re married.”
“But they’ve known each other forever and he’s doing this to make her a person in this world. It’s not love, not like it should be. But it is love because that’s the kind of guy he is. He’s… Xander’s a sweetie like that.”
Kennedy laughed, nodding, “Yeah, he is. Sometimes I think he’s too sweet for his own good.”
Tara snorted, “Tell me about it. So… what are we going to do about this?”
“Do?’ Kennedy frowned, “Do what?”
“He’s ours, yet he’s married to her.”
“It’s not like they are in love or anything, Tara.”
“Maybe, maybe not, but she needs to learn the rules.”
Kennedy blinked. Rules? “Um… Rules? Like Xander’s rules?”
“_My_ rules. Like no hogging Xander. I need some Xander hugging on occasion.”
“Ah,” Kennedy mused. Maybe this Tara wasn’t as stable as the stories as she’d heard…
“And no wild monkey sex while I’m trying to sleep, either.”
Kennedy snorted, shaking her head, “Knowing Xander, he’d tell you to deal with it or join in.”
Tara blushed at that for an instant but then a saucy smile spread across her face, “He would, wouldn’t he. I wonder what he’d do if I told him I would join in?”
Kennedy felt she had created a monster.
The road back from Vegas was long enough to begin with but when the only other person in the car was angry at you, it made it longer.
“Are you still mad at me?”
Drusilla glared at him, her green eyes glittering in the fading light. It was difficult thinking of the former Willow Rosenberg as Drusilla. The first few times he had done it, his mind had superimposed an image of the Mad Seer herself over Willow’s but thankfully that had stopped. Both were beautiful, yes, but he was married to the living one, not the undead one.
“Don’t give me that look, Dru. You signed off on this idea, remember?”
Willow ‘Drusilla Edith Harris’ Rosenberg sighed. She wasn’t so much angry as she was irritated with him. They’d been in a bit of a spot at the time and he’d said the first name that had come to mind, though WHY it had been the first to come to mind was a bit of an annoyance. “I know I did, Xan, but it’s hard.”
“Tell me about it. It took Kennedy and me weeks to get over it when we were in Konoha.”
“I understand. Drusilla, though? Is there something you want to share with the rest of the class?”
Xander shot her a look but the gears in his head were already turning. As such, his mind/mouth filter shut down, “You mean besides wondering just how Victorian her dresses really are? Or what she looks like out of them?”
The car jerked to one side of the road and, incidentally, missed a turtle.
“Ow! What was that for!?”
“Pig. I’m your wife now, Xander, so you can’t think about naked women like that anymore.”
“Alright, fine. You can’t think about naked women like that, either,” he grumbled. “And don’t think I won’t know if you do, either. No Tara, no Kennedy, no Buffy, no Faith, no Jenny Calender, no Cordelia, no younger Wi- OW! Damnation, woman, stop that!”
“I wouldn’t think of my other me naked!” Willow scolded him with no small amount of heat.
“And yet you have no problem thinking of Tara, Ken Doll, Buffy, Faith, Jenny or Cordy naked? Well, I can’t fault you for not having good taste, Dru. All of them rank at least a seven, though I do have to ask which Buffy you were thinking of naked.”
This time when the car jerked, it hit a skunk and they knew it for the better part of an hour.
AN: After several weeks of working my butt off with farm work and work work, I'm finally having a chance to actually look at writing again. Not much of a chapter, I know, but it's where I left off and I figured I should wrap it up before I went off to look at something else.
Yes, I know the name is going to draw a few questions and looks of disbelief but, hey, when has he ever done things the easy way?