It's quite early, but Jonathan woke up and couldn't get back to sleep. Rather than disturb Andrew, still asleep in the other bed in their room, he wandered over to the kitchen and is currently engaged in making breakfast. He can hear Spike, Angel and Gunn outside in the main part of the warehouse, talking over their latest case. It's all pretty much a normal morning... so far.
These things never last. The doorbell sounds.
Jonathan blinks, and glances through the open kitchenette door into the warehouse. Then, plate of toast in hand, he heads for the door.
It's a young woman, maybe a few years younger than him, with a messenger bag slung over one shoulder. She looks vaguely familiar, but only vaguely; he can't place her. She's glancing around in apparent unease, and fiddling with the bangle bracelet on her left wrist.
"Can I help you?" Jonathan asks politely - but with an automatic glance down at the direct sunlight where she's standing.
"Mr. Levinson? Yes. I'm Cia --" She pronounces it like chia
. "I think I've seen you around the Academy before? I've got a message for you and Mr. Wells from the Council -- Mr. Giles and Ms. Summers didn't think it was safe to use regular channels."
"Oh. Okay." That's probably why she's vaguely familiar, he decides. Someone he's passed in the halls, more than once. "Andrew's sleeping, but I can take the message."
Cia reaches into her messenger bag, and hands him a file folder. "One of the Slayers recently paroled from farm duty has broken her parole and gone AWOL. Jordie Miller. You and Mr. Wells are being assigned to bring her back to face charges."
Jonathan stares at her for a moment, holding the folder, then sighs. "I guess we should have expected that from at least one of them. Kind of hoped they'd learned their lesson, though."
She glances away. "I don't know. There's some pretty bad feeling about this at the Academy. I've been hearing a lot of grumbling from the Slayers."
He frowns at that. "Again, not totally unexpected, but are they still complaining? We were pretty lenient on those girls for what they did."
Cia shrugs. "I'm just saying. A lot of them are seriously not happy with the Council right now." Her face is unreadable. "Saying she's been punished enough. And, you know, some of them still think she and the others were right and the Council shouldn't have charged them with anything to begin with."
"I know." His voice is grim, and maybe a touch angry. "Seems like a lot of them think we can't do anything right."
She doesn't say anything, but there's a look about her face: you said it, I didn't.
Jonathan's frown deepens, almost to a scowl, and he mutters, "I wish the Slayers could have a taste of being in charge. Without any Watchers' Council. Let them see how easy it isn't."
Cia looks up, and her face is mottled amber and deeply grooved in lines that don't match any human musculature, and she's grinning
-- and all the lights go out.
When Jonathan's eyes adjust to the trickle of light coming through the suddenly boarded-up windows, the warehouse is empty and he's alone.
No; it's not just empty. It's bare
, the floor thick with dust. Nobody's been here in years.
He's already realized what's going on, and he's cursing himself out in several non-human languages because they sound better. "Stupid stupid stupid, you never
say 'I wish'!"
His voice echoes off the walls of the warehouse. Somewhere, more dust slithers to the floor; tiny motes swirl in the sunbeams coming through the cracks in the boarded-up windows, stirred by his movement. Faintly, the sound of not-too-distant traffic filters in.
He looks around, a little helplessly, not sure what to do next... but a good first thing would be to get out of this warehouse before it turns out to be home to something that doesn't like trespassers. He starts towards the main door.
The main door's locked. A chain rattles as he pushes. This warehouse isn't home to anything bigger than rats, apparently.
The lock and chain would be a problem, but Jonathan has more resources than just his physical strength, even without augmenting. He considers which spell to best use to get out with a minimum of physical destruction ... and then realizes he doesn't have any of his usual supplies.
Something that only takes words, then. And after that ... he'll start trying to look up some people, and pick up a few basic components in case he needs them. At least he's got his wallet in his pocket.
What he doesn't have -- and what he's really going to have to get first -- is a coat. It's cold out.