Several minutes ago, Xander Harris, Director of the Joyce Summers House For Exceptional Young Women locked himself inside his office in the former Cleveland hotel. Just before this, he'd informed his loyal staff composed of various Slayers and Watchers that he wasn't to be disturbed for any reason at all during the next couple of hours. Which definitely included yet another apocalypse.
This offhand comment was deeply flattering to a group of proud employees working for a secret organization soon about to celebrate its first decade in existence since the Sunnydale collapse. After all, an original Scooby had just told them he fully trusted everybody here to competently handle the dangerous supernatural threats the New Council normally dealt with. As for their beloved leader, he was probably about to study in absolute privacy for what was sure to be some truly important and sensitive magical information involving the prevention of a world-wide cataclysm.
Either that, or he was going to take a nap.
At his office desk, Xander was indeed hard at work on his computer, but not in something so minor as this one-eyed man's usual task of safeguarding humanity from those malevolent demonic scum lurking in the night-time shadows while plotting to enslave and devour everyone on earth. And their little dogs, too.
No, this was far more important. He needed to find a really awesome present for Buffy's birthday next week.
After a whole half-hour of searching through the Internet, Xander had come across some good possibilities for a certain blonde's needfully impressive gift from her high-school friend, but nothing really special had revealed itself. Thoughtfully scratching his chin, Xander then tapped the keyboard to locate a web site he'd stumbled across a few months earlier and immediately placed in his favorites section.
The screen address for Dude I Want That dot com instantly brought up a genuinely droll site which offered a gift guide to a lot of weird, wacky, and wonderful items available for purchase from all over the world. In his office, Xander grinned to himself, remembering the last time he'd shopped there, and how much his dozen Slayers at the hotel had appreciated their individually-wrapped ChrisHanKwan prezzies last December.
Well, hey, you couldn't ever go wrong with giving each of those warrior women a nice collection of bladed weapons, all packaged together in a snazzy, dark black canvas carryall. Even better, the set of exquisite knives, machetes, hatchets and other instruments of bloody mayhem had been marketed in a definite tongue-in-cheek style by Gerber Legendary Blades as nothing other than a Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit.
Lost in his memories, Xander sniggered out loud over just how quickly this attempt at whimsical humor by an unaware outdoors equipment company became unequivocally real for the New Council. The hotel's Christmas lights hadn't even been taken down before the Slayers' very sharp presents proved themselves in actual battle against some particularly dimwitted evil sorcerer and that idiot's band of lurching undead trying to take over the Cleveland Hellmouth.
The end result for the triumphant superhuman girls had them thoroughly chopping into little decaying chunks their inept zombie foes and then lining up to give Xander an enthusiastic, grateful kiss from each and every one of his ladies. After which of course the Slayers carefully cleaned and polished their just-used weapons, tenderly replaced these in the carryalls, and strutted arm-in-arm back to the Summers House.
At the time, Xander had stayed behind in the graveyard where their recent conflict took place in order to tidy up a few trivial, last-minute details. Such as dealing with the defeated sorcerer cowering against a tombstone and watching with terrified eyes the human heading in his direction while unlimbering a large battle-axe. Before literally losing his head, this unlucky demon had only a couple of seconds to regret not putting his spell-casting talents into doing the far less perilous stage magician gig as per Copperfield and Blaine.
Months later, Xander in his office shook off his recollections and brought himself back to his original purpose. The man started to scroll down the home page of Dude I Want That dot com, eager to see the newest advertisements there with their accompanying pictures and snarky comments below the sometime incredible images. Hmmm, that looked interesting, and that too, and-
"GAH!" frantically yelped the former Sunnydale resident, recoiling in his chair from the appalling picture which had just shown itself on the monitor. Staring at this in absolute horror, Xander also strongly shuddered at something he'd much rather have never known about, only to retain it now permanently seared inside his brain. A quick click of his mouse made the ghastly image there disappear, but a glum Xander now gazing across the office room inwardly vowed he was never, ever going to mention this to the oldest-living Slayer at her upcoming birthday party.
Hopefully, nobody else would, either. At Christmastime, Xander had gladly divulged to the rest of the Scoobies just how he'd found the Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kits, and this soon resulted in his friends also happily visiting Dude I Want That dot com every once in a while. But at least Wils, Dawn, Faith, Rona, Vi and the others of the New Council's inner circle would damn well know to keep their mouths shut if they too accidentally stumbled across what he'd just seen…
Slumping down in his seat, Xander resignedly groaned to an otherwise empty office, "Andrew."
Rubbing at his forehead in a vain attempt at alleviating a suddenly developing headache due to thinking about a true online geek obsessed with comics and other popular culture, the man in the Cleveland office paused in this. An evil smirk lifted the corners of Xander's lips, with him then cackling, "Hey, better you than me, pal, if you're dumb enough to bring up the whole thing! I'm totally sure Buffy will kick your ass all over the place for reminding her about past stuff in her life she'd rather forget now!"
Straightening up on the chair, Xander derisively snorted towards an absent dork, "And no, it won't help any if you bring up your stay in her mom's basement with a blond English vamp, who got his name through a really nasty habit. You try telling the Buffster about those, or even worse, buying some of the horrible things and giving them to her in some stupid homage or tribute about Spike, you'll be sorry!"
Nodding firmly to himself, Xander reached out again for the computer mouse, and he got busy once more looking for Buffy's present from him. The one-eyed man went into several women's couture sites offering footwear for sale from various famous fashion designers, all while beginning to absently mutter under his breath, "Shoes are always good, yessir. Shoes are fine, shoes, shoes, shoes…"
After enough repetitions of this final word, Xander eventually managed to put out of his mind the recent dreadful image he'd just viewed on Dude I Want That dot com: a picture of several handcrafted metal novelty weapons laid out for sale, and helpfully titled for those who might be unfamiliar with the objects they'd been altered from, as 'Railroad Spike Knives.'
Author's Note: The website known as Dude I Want That dot com does indeed exist, as do all the items mentioned in this story. Yes, this categorically includes the Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit and the you-know-what. This latter unholy offering first appeared on there some time ago, inspiring me to write this little bit o' crack, so go and see for yourself what the fuss is all about.
Furthermore, I'm convinced that despite this unexpected and unnerving news to the Scooby Gang, they'd still be more than willing to purchase through the website a great many other goodies. Either for themselves, or to give as presents to their strange little family. For example, any Slayer would undoubtedly cherish a RPG-7 Bottle Launcher with this fake rocket filled with holy water and joyfully use it against the nearest vampire nest. Or, what about the longed-for possibility of witnessing Faith sexily perching on the actual TRON: Legacy light cycle while wearing nothing but a glowing corset costume from the same film, both available for purchase…?