Disclaimer & A/N: None of it's mine, don't get offended and sue me. A little bit while I agonize over the Giles chapter some more....
Nameless concentrated a moment, drawing a physical form around itself. She adjusted the gunbelts slung low on her hips, satisfied with her appearance. It was time to start complicating things, and Nameless wanted to look her best when she did it. While parts of her were busy with other things, another had spent the evening watching the Watcher. Being observant, as he was, Rupert Giles had noticed changes in his young Slayer and her friends. He'd finally asked Jenny about it, inviting her over to discuss it over dinner.
Unseen, Nameless sat on the table, watching as he cooked.
She smiled, wondering how these 'Scoobies' would handle the sight of their favorite stuffy Brit puttering about in the kitchen. He hummed a tune that Nameless recognized from several different worlds. She shook her head, bewildered, wondering what the lyrics to 'Hey Jude' were in this one. A knock at the door stopped him, putting a pan on a different burner and hurrying to answer it. Rupert greeted Jenny with a warm charm that brought long buried memories to Nameless's mind. The longer she observed Rupert Giles, the more he reminded her of another man she once knew. A man she met the last time she'd worn that particular body.
The last time Nameless broke the rules.
Every task came with its dangers. Taking physical form, unless allowed otherwise, usually meant that body could be killed. Nameless couldn't actually die, but still felt the physical sensations involved in it. In her true form, Nameless still felt emotion, but wasn't hampered by the body's reactions to emotion. Or the body's reaction to others. She had been sent to Thunderclap in order to arrange an escape for a man from a place once called Blue Heaven. It was in one of the rarer temperate areas, not scorched and poisoned like much of the rest. A pleasant enough place if you ignored the various taheen and low men standing guard over it. And the vaguely drugged looking people milling about. Feeling reckless, Nameless had gone in to observe wearing the body of a human woman.
And it was 'her' undoing.
Like always, Nameless went about unseen, nudging things here and there. The man she'd been sent to help drew her interest like a moth to a flame. They addressed him as Ted, or Mr. Brautigan. He tried to have a kind word for all of them. The Overseers demanded he train the others, help them to bend their minds to the machine. Ted did as they asked, yes, but often paid the price for trying to protect the others. He tried his best to watch over the children. Nameless ached, still human-shaped, reeling as new sensations filled her too human head. She knew anger already, but not the way her hands clenched into fists with every crack of the whip as Ted was punished for protecting the children. Nameless had never known the sensation of adrenaline coursing through her veins, or how rage coiled the muscles in her body.
Or savage glee as each taheen was cut down before her guns.
She'd blazed in, literally, a fiery spirit of vengeance. Once all the guards in the square had been taken out, Nameless had grabbed Ted and left just as sudden. They came back to reality at the edge of the scarlet field of Can'-Ka No Rey. Nameless gently lowered Ted to the ground, closed eyes twitching as a breeze carried the smell of billions of roses into his lungs. She rested a hand on his chest to heal him and encourage him to sleep. Nameless hoped they were close enough to the Tower to hide in its shadow. Her 'time' was short, but she thought Ted might have enough cover to get away. The chimes were thundering in her ears. The rules were meant to enforce the balance. A wheel cannot turn without balance, after all. And something was coming to restore that balance. Nameless' two minutes of rebellion marked her. She left Ted where he lay. Whatever was threatening to spill from the todash darkness to eat her couldn't be allowed to take them both. Nameless came out again on a mountain to the north. Roses stretched for miles below her. From her vantage point, Nameless could see both the Tower and the Great Combination to the west. A faint tearing sound drew her attention directly up.
"I must have broken a few more than I thought."
'Monster' wasn't quite enough to describe it. Nameless felt a wide, satisfied grin settle on her face. The roiling mass of eyes, teeth and flesh spilling from a dark tear in the world was hungry and, judging by its laughter, quite amused. Nameless responded with a chuckle of her own as she drew the guns at her hips. She knew that her rescue had set something in motion. She'd dropped a stone into the stagnant water of End-World and ripples were already changing things. Nameless drew as much power into the body as she could and charged at the beast. The resulting physical death was painful, but she wounded the creature enough that the backlash from Nameless' return to its true form destroyed it. Nameless crept back into todash, into the far reaches where its master slept. Living flame compressed itself down to a speck of light. It would take ages to recover, but Nameless knew there was hope again. Even if the Beams broke, there was still hope for the Tower.
And next time...could be different.