Disclaimer: Joss. Is. GOD. I just try to interpret his works.
Summary: Another take on the Season 2 'Angelus kidnapps Xander' cliche. Xander reflects. X/S, X/Aus
Rating: PG-13 for some language, slash content, and implied non-con.
Spoilers: Much of S2. 'Lovers Walk', sort of. Willow's line in 'Welcome to the Hellmouth' about the Barbie doll.
Author’s Notes: There's quite a bit of fic out there where Angelus, in S2, uses Xander, and later Spike finds out and comforts him. This isn't that. And something about that Barbie Doll always made me wonder if there was more of a story to it than Willow let on. This is what Summer Break without any work does to me.
When we were five, Willow and I used to date, and then I stole her Barbie Doll.
“Oh, but you are Buffy’s toy. Or rather, you were. Do you want to guess whose you
It wasn’t even her favorite Barbie, you know? I think it might have been a Staci or a
Traci or an Amber or something. But for some reason, five-year-old me got mad at my
five-year-old Willow girlfriend, so I stole her Barbie Doll. I hid it in the back of my
closet. We spent about a week not talking to each other, so I played with Jesse and we
replaced Willow with Amy Madison, and when they came over I’d drag out Willow’s
Barbie Doll and play with it. Just to make her mad.
“Well, of course I’m going to keep him. He’s a better fuck than you were,
Of course, being five, Willow forgave me and I forgave her and I gave her back her now
much-abused Barbie, except then it started to rain and the three of us all ran home and
ended up leaving the doll outside in the mud. I remember that day, watching cartoons
while it thundered outside. I was pretty happy. I had my Willow back, and no, we
weren’t five-year-old-dating anymore, but we were friends again. I didn’t even think
about the Barbie.
“Shhh. Angel, I...I love you...”
It took a while to realize that Willow still didn’t have her Barbie Doll anymore. We
looked everywhere, it seems like. It must have been a month before we found out Jesse
had it, mainly because the Rosenbergs took a week-long vacation to Disney World, and
no one even realized Barbie wasn’t there. Apparently, being five and having a female
best friend had screwed around with gender roles to the both of us, because now Barbie
had taken up permanent residence under Jesse’s bed, and no amount of begging, pleading,
or shouting could get him to give her back. He hung out with Amy instead. She humored
”Oh, Spikey, you’ve gone and snatched Daddy’s pretty kitten. He’ll be so very cross
with you for playing with his toy.”
But we were five. We were five, and the life span of a Barbie Doll is nothing to a
five-year-old. It took only until a certain yellow-crayon-incident to bring Jesse back to
us, and thus we were friends again, and Barbie was completely forgotten. I don’t even
know what happened to the damn thing. Jesse might even have still had it, ratty and old
under his bed, when he died, or the neighbor’s dog might have gotten it, or maybe Amy
borrowed it and her mother ended up using it for her cheerleader-voodoo-spells. I don’t
know. If Catherine Madison did voodoo the Barbie Doll, the thing probably misfired,
because I don’t think I was affected by any of her spells. It’s entirely possible, because in
the grown-up version of this little saga, Amy’s part gets played by none other than
Drusilla. So if the analogy follows through, Catherine the Great was pretty crazy, too. I
think the whole cheerleader thing pretty much proved it, and I’ve spent enough time
around Dru to know insanity and magic don’t mix.
“Oh, please, Spike, please, let me bring Daddy back! He’s so lost, and the terrible
mean fire wants to burn him all to bits forever and ever!”
“No, Dru, I am not having you go grabbing things out of Hell! What if you bring back
the wrong demon, huh? Then it’ll be you gone all to bits, because you’ll end up
I wonder if Buffy misses me. I don’t really know where she went after Acathla, because
I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Disney World, but she was back by the time Spike and I showed
up in Sunnydale again last year. She got pretty pissed when he waved his brand new
Barbie Xander around. I know Willow still remembers the ‘Barbie Incident’ of a decade
and some such ago, but I don’t think she cares anymore. I wonder if Buffy and Angel
would spare a thought to me if Spike ever got killed.
“Now, now, pet. You stake me, what’ll happen to your little toy, hmm? You want
him to starve to death without me?”
“I don’t know, Spike. You’ve really pissed me off today. I might just dust you anyway.”
South America’s not so bad, although the hot, dark, and damp part really is like
underneath Jesse’s bed. Drusilla-Amy keeps running off on Spike, but he doesn’t care so
much. He’s got his Barbie to play with, and I guess I don’t mind. I don’t really care
anymore. Under Spike’s bed isn’t much different than Angel-Angelus’s closet, and isn’t
that an apt metaphor. I’ve spent a lot of time in various closets, playing Barbie.
“Oh, come on, Xander, we both know you want it. I’ve seen you staring. I know
what you’ve been hiding. But you might as well give up, because you’re mine now.”
You know what I realized, though? All Traci or Staci or Amber ever really wanted was
her plastic boyfriend with his plastic smile in their little plastic mansion with their sporty
red plastic convertible, so they could settle down and raise lots of plastic children. Sure,
I’ll bet she loved it when Willow took her out to play Supergirl. Of course, Willow was
always Wonder Woman, and I was Batman, and Jesse was the bad guy and the Barbie
Doll and her plastic boyfriend were the poor civilians, but occasionally Willow the
budding feminist made Barbie Doll rescue the plastic boyfriend, and didn’t Cordelia love
it when I saved her life? My very own plastic girlfriend, which isn’t fair because I know
there’s more to her than that, but she was. My plastic cheerleader girlfriend for the plastic
Barbie Xander with the great big shiny plastic smile.
“Xander, are you okay? You seem kind of down. And you’re limping.”
“Who, me? Never better. Happy as a clam. Where does that saying come from,
anyway? What makes clams so much happier than other shellfish?”
Spike’s calling. Playtime. I guess it’s pretty pathetic, me turned into a glorified Barbie
Doll, but so be it. One day Spike will get tired of me, and I know that. Nobody keeps
their Barbie around forever. Well, except for Dru, she still has tea parties with Miss
Edith regularly. So maybe Spike will give me to her when he’s finished. One way or
another, here I am, life-size, talking Barbie Xander, complete with hot and cold running
blood, and anatomically correct for all those grown-up games. Spike plays with me
because that’s what I’m for, now, and maybe it’s not Barbie’s Dream Castle, but...did you
see Toy Story? It’s not so bad being the favorite toy. At least it protects you from the
next door neighbor’s dog, and since the next door neighbor is some kind of demon and
the dog is an Amazonian alligator, that’s all to the good. You get to sleep on the bed,
anyway, and often there’s McDonalds--just like Barbie used to eat, only instead of plastic
mine is just cooked in the middle of Nowhere, Belize, which makes it only slightly less
strange. Still good, though, so I’m devouring it while Spike talks.
“So, pet, how would you like to go for a little trip?”
Oh, wow. We’re going back to Sunnydale. Apparently Jesse and Amy are taking Barbie
on a treasure hunt in the park, except I think Dru’s staying here with her latest slime
demon. Spike’s still a little pissed about that. We’re going to be looking for something
called the ‘Gem of Amara’. Why he needs to walk in sunlight so badly I don’t really
know, seeing as how there’s almost no light that gets through the treetops around here
even in the middle of noon, but off we go anyway.
“We’re leaving in ten minutes. And I’m not stopping, either. You don’t have your
clothes packed, I’ll be watching you walk around naked for as long as it takes to find this
Willow had a lot of other Barbie Dolls, and Buffy’s got Willow and Giles and Oz and
Cordelia, and I think someone said something about a new Slayer last time, and of course
she and Angel have made up, so no. I don’t think she wonders about me all that much.
So be it. For now, I’m Spike’s favorite toy. And if we play a little rough sometimes, or a
lot rough all of the time, well, Barbie survived a little mangling. It’s not like we ever
really asked Barbie which of us she wanted to keep her, after all. Under the bed isn’t the
worst place in the world to be.