If Anna was able to demonstrate the advantages of honing a Slayers instinct into conscious thought and battle training then Faith and Anna's other sparring partners, were a demonstration on how quickly Slayers picked up combat training. Before the end of the second week, Anna no longer had the upper hand. At the end of certain sessions Jon would approach the Slayers and other combatants and address any weaknesses that he was able to catch. His easygoing manner helped to easy the suspicions of the Watchers and Wikkas.
As well as working with Xander and Willow to improve his knowledge of the Slayer's world, Jon made time every morning to work with the weapons he had yet to master. Although Jon knew how to fight with an assortment of modern military hardware, he was not very proficient with the sword or Xander's favourite weapon of choice the axe. The crossbow and bow had been a breeze, he was declared a natural when he had managed to regularly hit the target so precisely after a few tries. The sword was taking longer; he just didn't have the stamina or muscle definition to beat Xander. So he worked harder, pushing himself ruthlessly practicing the swings against a dummy as he tried to build the required muscle power when Xander wasn't around to spar with.
It was an early morning training session and Jon moved with a wooden practice sword, as Xander showed him some advance moves. Xander had been pleased with the progress Jon was making until a particularly aggressive swing with the wooden sword cause a flash of pain to run across the younger man's face.
"Are you Ok?" He asked in concern as Jon dropped the sword and grabbed at his arm.
"Yes, just a muscle spasm." However, Jon's expression was a pale mask, which told another tale. Xander sighed as he retrieved both their practice swords and placed them into the rack and went to check on the injured Watcher.
"I think that you need ice on it, possibly a trip to the school's nurse as well. You shouldn't push yourself so hard." Xander steered Jon out of the practice gym and down the corridor as he continued his lecture, "It's the Slayers that are taking on the supernatural, and you're just the back up. In fact it's your job to stay at a safe distance and do the researchy stuff."
"Pot and Kettle mean anything to you Xander." Jon raised an eyebrow in the classic Teal'c fashion. Xander laughed.
"It was a little different then, the Scooby gang weren't Watchers and we were sitting on top of the most active hellmouth. And to be honest at the beginning we just sat around calling out encouragement to Buffy. Now if there's something that needs two Slayers we can have two Slayers, do the slay-age. Historically the Watchers were old men that directed the Slayer like a General. Here we are." Xander stopped at a door marked School medic. "Nadine." Xander called out as he pushed the door open. It was only early in the morning but the Slayers were notorious for being up at all hours of the day and night, it was lucky that this particular Slayer had been at medical school when she was called. She made a great addition to the school staff; it was useful to have someone able to patch up the other residents on rough nights.
"Hey, Xander." A petite girl, of Asian origin, appeared from the stores cupboard. "What have we here, Jon?"
"Slight sprain, I think." Jon smiled as he jumped up onto the examining table and rolled up his tracksuit sleeve to allow better access to his arm. Nadine spent a few minutes checking the arm before applying a salve and fetching an ice pack from the freezer.
"I'm going to need to wrap it for added support I think, it should be as good as new then." Nadine walked around the room collecting the supplies that she needed. Xander and the Slayer medic made small talk as she treated Jon's arm. Jon let his mind drift over the Xander's wise words, it was going to be hard for him taking a back seat when there was action, however running in before the Slayers was a good way to hinder them not help.
'Old habits die-hard,' He thought, 'but better them than me.' Just then a group of Slayers entered the medical room.
"Nadine." One of the said, "Ready to save the world?" She looked at Xander and Jon, "You two come on to the meeting hall." There was a sense of urgency radiating from the Slayers as they made there way to the meeting area.
Slipping past the Slayers, Watchers and Wikkas Anna made her way in the direction that she could feel Jon was currently located. She'd missed him that morning, opting to talk with Faith instead of train. Although the issues with the Furling dragon had been on most of the Slayers and Watchers lips, last nights dreamscape was more important.
"Hey Jonny. You OK?" She finally saw her brown haired friend just as Wood began to address the crowd.
"Yeah, I was sword fighting with Xander. What's the hullabaloo?"
"Slayer dreams, quite a few of the girls have had them last night. It's apocalypse time." The glee on Anna's face was in stark contrast to the news she'd just delivered. "We have foreseen a entryway to a hell dimension opening up in LA and a demon horde poured forth. All to happen on the new moon, which is tonight." As she spoke she moved with a barley-constrained energy.
Jon shook his head, all the Slayers were keyed up eager for the chance to kick demon butt. They were wired for warfare, they enjoyed the action it was in their nature. He tuned in to the instructions that Principal Wood was spewing to the hyped up crowd.
"It will take up about 1 and a half days to drive the 2,300 miles to LA. The Wikkas have found a way for us all to portal to the destination we should be ready to roll in a few hours. Buffy and a few other slayers will meet us there."
"I'm gonna meet Buffy the numero uno Slayer." Anna was made a silent vow to keep his slayer away from both caffeine and sugar for the next few hours.
"The dreams were pretty specific and so here is the lay of the land, that we'll be fighting on." Wood put a map of the downtown LA area that they were going to have to defend. He went on to outline a brief battle plan. Jon didn't realise that he was moving until he was standing next to the Principal.
"What about giving the heads up to the Demon Hunters and Military Hunter squads, there is some artillery that slows anything down?"
"In the past we haven't had good experiences with the military before, I'm not keen to muddy the waters today."
"Come on we're facing a demon army here surely we should at least see if we can work together with them on this."
"The army isn't tolerant of special beings including the Slayers, I'm not going…"
"Times have changed, this is not the NID run Initiative. This war is not just the pastime for the Slayers, you can't be that arrogant. It concerns us all in fact some hunters have been fighting this fight for generations."
"Jon the wikka…"
"Are you telling me that you couldn't use some flame throwers, with a side order of rocket launchers?"
"Rocket Launchers you say?" Xander was suddenly very interested. He loved his axe but he wouldn't turn down weaponry that would please his soldier side. "I'll call one."
"Get the civilians out the area, saving more innocents. A TV black out. Medical support." Jon knew that his sales pitch was working, especially since Xander had voiced his support by ordering a launcher. Pulling his phone from his pocket he pushed the final sell, "One call to Uncle Jack and he'll call the right people."
Faith put her two pence in. "With the public out the way we could concentrate on fighting."
"We could use medical assistance, that won't ask awkward questions." Said Nadine, she certainly supported that idea.
"Buffy won't like it." Wood always liked to have the last word, but he had capitulated, Jon smiled, and he knew he had made a sale.
"Yes, but Buffy's not here. We need to give as many hunters the heads up that we can." Wood nodded and Jon hit speed dial one. "You want to do that?" He waited for the man to move to comply, before turning back to his phone.
"Hey Jack…" And Jon began to outline the approaching apocalypse to his original. The observers then saw the 17-year-old take control of the plan and before they realised it, the boy started handing out tasks. It was natural in the end to relax in the easy confidence of the new Watcher as he smoothed out the battle plan, and began to lead the Slayers. Xander Saw how easy the transition from bystander to leader was for the boy and smiled. It was of the good.
I hope that you like this, but I'm finding it hard to capture Xander's voice. I'm just going to pretend that he's grown up since his stint in Africa. Please R&R How do you think Buffy should take Jon?