Disclaimer: Joss owns BTVS
Swimming was fun, yeah right. Coach Marin was greedy, how greedy Xander wasn’t sure, but the protein shakes tasted off. Little did he realize that it had adverse effects. Xander was leading the swim team to state with his Spartan physique, the only problem now was that he knew how some girls felt when someone eyed them as he had acquired a following. As he swam beside a teammate doing laps, he became aware of his teammate shaking uncontrollably in the water.
Xander grabbed the boy with one hand and struck out for the side of the pool when he felt a heavy blow to his arm holding the boy. Reacting on instinct, he grabbed the limb and twisted and was rewarded with a blow to the head.
Then Xander heard “Come back bearing your shield or on it!” He grabbed his foe’s head and took his thumbs and pressed on the eyes. The former teammate tried to escape the hold and Xander shifted around, only to feel strong arms lift the pair out of the water and separate the two.
Xander opened his eyes to see Coach Marin in a long red robe with his fists clenched over his head.
“You will not stop me boy! For the first time in decades we will win the State Swim Meet!” Marin exclaimed cackling maniacally. Then an audible thunk! Was heard and Marin collapsed bonelessly to the ground. Behind him stood Willow with a trophy in her hands.
“No one hurts Xander! Especially some two bit sorcerer!” she followed this up with a swift kick to Marin’s ribs.
Fortunately for Xander, whacking Marin over the head with the gold-plated trophy broke the spell. Unfortunately for Xander and his attacker, they were over the pool deck and they crashed into the concrete; this had fatal results for the former swimmer and bruised Xander rather badly.
Later that day, Xander lay in a hospital bed after the doctors had checked him and the rest of the swim team over, decring all along about performance-enhancing drugs and the fact that Sunnydale High was disqualified from the State Championships. Buffy, Willow and Giles crowded into the hospital room.
“Giles-before you say it, I am not joining the wrestling team.” Xander said before anyone could open their mouth.
“Why not? With your physique you’d be a natural.” Giles said clearly befuddled.
“It has to do with history; the Greeks called wrestling pankration and the Spartans actually used it in battle. Pankration was even an Olympic event, however there was a rule: No Spartans allowed.” Xander said in an even tone.
“But why no Spartans? Were people scared of them or something?” Buffy asked.
“Yes, because they would go for the eye-gouge and other choke-holds. These guys were trained killers Buff, you could not de-program them for the Olympics and then send them out in the wars of Lakedemon. Although I might join the cross-country team Spartans were good runners.” Xander said.
“Really, I thought they were the slow immovable force?” Willow said.
“When they needed to be; althoughpart of their training includes the hoplite run.” Xander said.
“Still not getting why they’d be good runners even with this hoppy-thingy.” Buffy added
“It’s a hoplite run, and a more extreme example is the hoplite that ran from Marathon to Lakedemon to tell them of the victory in battle. He shouted Nike which means victory and then keeled over from exhaustion. That is where the word marathon comes from.” Xander said.
“Well enough about your aspirations to sportsmanship however well backed, we had come to inquire as to your health.” Giles asked.
“Ready and willing to storm the Gates of Hades. Docs gave me a clean bill of health earlier this afternoon. Now all I have to wait for is an adult to sign me out of this joint.” Xander said.