XANDER: First day of kindergarten. You cried because you broke the yellow crayon, and you were too afraid to tell anyone. You've come pretty far, ending the world, not a terrific notion. But the thing is? Yeah. I love you. I loved crayon-breaky Willow and I love ... scary veiny Willow. So if I'm going out, it's here. If you wanna kill the world? Well, then start with me. I've earned that.
Willow learned everything she’d need to know about life on the first day of kindergarten.
It’s okay to be scared.
It’s okay to be scared but you still have to go.
No matter how nice you are and how pretty your dress is there will always be someone too cool to talk to you.
Not everyone likes smart people.
Xander Harris is the nicest, bravest, most wonderful-est boy in the whole wide world.
Good friends make all the difference.
If you’re cute and crying any accident with yellow crayons can be forgiven.
So can on-purposes with blue ones.
WILLOW: No, we're just friends. We used to go out, but we broke up.
BUFFY: How come?
WILLOW: He stole my Barbie. Oh, we were five.
– Welcome to the Hellmouth
Maybe she shouldn’t have been so hard on him. She really hadn’t even been sure he had done it. Xander could be such a boy sometimes with the teasing and such, but he’d never seemed like a Barbie stealer. Maybe it hadn’t been him, maybe it had been Larry or someone, but she’d yelled and dumped him and he had made his kicked puppy face. Kicked puppy face! Retrospect was cruel and it kept her up some nights. If she hadn’t been so hard on him for stealing her favorite Barbie would they be dating? Would he love her back?
XANDER: Stuff only you and me know. Okay! On my seventh birthday ... I wanted a toy fire truck, and I didn't get it, and you were real nice about it, and then the house next door burnt down, and then real fire trucks came, and for years I thought you set the fire for me. And if you did, you can tell me.
– The Replacement
Xander was troubled by Willow’s present. The fire trucks were cool, but the neighbor’s house was on fire. It had to be Willow; she could pull it off because she was a good girl. Most people thought good girls were quite and smart and played by the rules, but Xander knew they were quiet and smart and never got caught. Willow never got caught, not when she lied or did things she shouldn’t. Xander wanted to tell her burning things was bad, but that would hurt her feelings. Besides, Willow was a smart girl, she had to know right from wrong.
WILLOW: Oh, yeah, I'm good at medical stuff since Xander and I used to play doctor all the time.
XANDER: (chuckles) No, she's being literal. She used to have all these medical volumes, uh, and diagnosed me with stuff. I didn't have the heart to tell her she was playing it wrong.
–Killed by Death
Willow loved to play their medicine game. They’d take her father’s medical books and Xander would give himself a disease then she’d have to diagnose him. He was a great patient and always had something with tricky symptoms like meningitis, which you could think was the flu if you weren’t paying attention. Some of them were really hard, but Willow would always figure it out and save the day and then Xander would say she was smarter even than Doogie Howser. It was fun and education so she didn’t understand why her parents made her stop playing doctor with Xander.
XANDER: My dad tried to sell me to some Armenians once. Does that count?
– Inca Mummy Girl
When they finally figured out what his father was proposing they stared at the man like they had just noticed he was some multi-headed, slime-covered monster, and Xander found himself strangely disappointed. He couldn’t understand why he was upset. He hadn’t wanted to go to Armenia, heck, he didn’t even know where Armenia was. He certainly didn’t want to leave his Willow behind to go someplace where he had no friends and didn’t understand a word. No, Xander didn’t want Armenia, not even a little, but, it was just that, compared to his father, those Armenians had seemed so nice.
XANDER: Duh! I mean, guys'll do anything to impress a girl. I-I once
drank an entire gallon of Gatorade without taking a breath.
WILLOW: It was pretty impressive. Although later there was an ick factor.
What did it take to impress some girls? Willow thought it was cool, admittedly Willow thought that about everything Xander did, but even Larry was in awe of his manly chugging prowess. But not her. Never mind that no one else had the guts to take her dare let alone the breath support to actually do it. Never mind that it had all been for her. No, even after gulping the entire Gatorade she still thought he was a looser. Xander wonder what his fatal mistake was. He suspected throwing up on her shoes had something to do with it.
WILLOW: She was already smoking in fifth grade. Once I was lookout for her.
XANDER: You're bad to the bone.
WILLOW: I'm a rebel.
– School Hard
Willow stood lookout for Sheila and imaged for a moment that she was the girl with the cigarette and the trashy clothes instead of the nerd in the fuzzy pink sweater. In her head she was a rebel openly defying her mother, society and yes, even the Surgeon General. Smoking-Willow was beyond rules, she did what she wanted. She picked her own clothes, gave Cordelia a piece of her mind, and French kissed Xander in the halls. But that wasn’t her. Willow was a good girl and they didn’t do that. Of course, they didn’t stand lookout for smokers either.
WILLOW: Look, all I'm saying is that this is normal teen stuff. You join chat rooms, you write poetry, you post Doogie Howser fan-fic.
“Oh, Elm,” Doogie murmured into her luxurious red hair. “You’re the most amazing girl. You’re so smart, compassionate, brave. The only doctor younger than me and drop dead gorgeous to boot.”
“Ah, Will...,” Xander began, wondering how to break it to her that her story sucked.
“Isn’t she just the coolest character ever,” Willow asked, eager for praise.
Only in an incredibly painful, vaguely nauseating sort of way, but friends don’t say that. “Yeah, Will.” Xander flashed her what he hope was a genuine-looking smile. “She’s great.” Doogie Howser was an okay show, but fanfiction? Xander didn’t get it.
WILLOW: There's a bitter streak. But Amy's nice. We used to hang in
Junior High. When her mom would go on a broth kick, Amy'd come over to my house and we'd stuff ourselves with brownies!
Xander put down his X-men and asked the question that had been bugging him all night. “How come Willow never invites me over for brownies and chick-flicks?”
Jesse looked at Xander like he’d just announced that he was gay. “You like that stuff?”
While Xander did like brownies, that wasn’t the issue. After spending all of elementary school attached to Willow’s hip, this whole seeing other people thing felt weird. Doing guy stuff with Jesse was cool, but Willow and Amy’s girl nights made him feel left out. Why would she exclude him unless..."You think they’re talking about us?"