Title :: Nameless
Rating :: FR18
Word Count :: 1150
Disclaimer :: I do not own these characters and there is no profit being made from this work of fiction.
Note :: This is the third in the Lilith series. (Bled to Black, Hallowed Void)
The manhole cover lifted up from the street, twisting and turning in the ever paling sky before clattering to the paved walkway several feet away. A blood and dust covered hand caught the lip of the hole and pulled Lilith from the darkness and into the predawn light. She was sopping wet from the waist down; the denim hugging her thighs as she lifted her legs free from the sewers of Rome and stood atop its street for the first time.
Her head inclined as the wind brought with it the scent of yeast, warm on the tongue and her child’s shattered mind whispered that she smelled bread—fresh bread that was baked every morning by a couple who lived above their shop and served hot chocolate in delicate espresso cups—her chin lifted with the memory. Eyes falling closed as she absorbed more of her child, welcomed the wealth of knowledge and as she welcomed those hissing whispers her world tightened and her eyes opened.
Wide and dark, they met astonished brown before the truck impacted her slight frame. Metal crumpled and glass shattered before Lilith was thrown backwards and she struck the black paved road. Her body tumbled, coming to a stop against a streetlight that shuddered as she came to rest against it.
The man’s eyes remained locked on her crumpled form, his white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel tightened as sweat gathered on his palms and under his arms. His door groaned and he turned, eyes going wide and frightened as another woman with onyx eyes stood just outside. His breath pitched and he struggled with his seatbelt even as the metal of his car shrieked while the driver’s side door was being peeled open.
A pale hand buried in his jacket and pulled him from the truck, tangling his legs in the nylon strap of the seatbelt. Her other hand came forward, caught his shoulder and gave an impatient tug of his body and a blinding pain shot up his leg to strike his stomach, brought up with it a wave of nausea as bone snapped. His body was then carelessly tossed to the asphalt and he impacted on his stomach with enough force that his face snapped forward.
He blinked, eyes growing wider as he pushed himself up with his arms and saw the blood smeared beneath him. It trickled from his mouth and his gaze locked on the bit of white in the center of the growing pool. His tooth simply laid there against the dirt as if mocking him. The soft shuffle of denim rubbing denim turned his head and he watched helpless as his attacker brought her boot heel down on his lower back and the flash of pain that followed speared his mind, sharp and instantaneous. Black on white streamers slipped through his vision as the pain in his leg simply vanished and he retched.
“Stop.” The voice that ordered his attacker was muffled, distant as he coughed, sagging against the asphalt and into blissful unconsciousness.
Lilith pushed herself onto her feet and watched as the demon made her way forward, blonde hair falling in soft waves around narrow features and a pointed chin. Her brows drew together with the small dip of that chin as the one before Lilith showed reverence. Acknowledged her power, her place in the order of things—she smiled.
The chin rose and their gazes locked as Ruby’s lips quirked, brow rising as she asked. “How do you like me now?”
One of the few that followed Lilith before Azazel gave a delicate spin; slipping her hands down the form that now housed her essence. Lilith’s gaze tracked the movement of those hands. “You have taken one of my children as a vessel.”
“I know.” She stepped forward, towered over Lilith with a smirk curving the line of her mouth. “Would you like what’s yours back?”
“In due time.” Her gaze shifted toward the horizon, the nearly blue sky. “I require a change of clothing.”
“What about him?”
Lilith turned toward the unconscious man lying in the center of the street. “His move against me was by accident.” She turned her gaze back toward the sun as it slipped free of the curve of the earth and spread light across street. It warmed her cold, hard flesh and brought a slow spreading smile to her own lips as she ordered, “Make it quick.”
Her companion’s boots made a faint scuffing as she spun on her heel and strolled back toward her victim. Within a few strides she reached his side and stepped one leg over him, straddling him as she bent at the knees and grasped his head. With a sharp twist and stomach knotting pop she snapped his neck and dropped him back to the ground. His head once again making a dull thud as it struck the pavement.
She watched as Ruby absently wiped off her hands on the back of her jeans as she stepped away from his still and now forever silent form to make her way back. Their gazes locked as Ruby came to a stop with them nearly chest to chest. Lilith’s brow rose as the world around them, outside of them tightened. The air—if they had need for it—became heavy, nearly suffocating as the street surrounding them compressed and twisted.
Ruby collapsed to her knees as the ground beneath them shifted from asphalt to carpet and Lilith now had a panoramic view of Rome through the windows across from them. She moved around her ally and toward the glass that separated her from a five story drop that would do no more damage than the vehicle that struck her only minutes before.
“Buffy?” She turned as Ruby slowly regained her equilibrium and watched a teenager step out from the darkened hallway. Blue eyes widened as they took in her appearance, “Are you okay? You look like hell.”
The mockery in her voice grated but it was the transparency of her form that thinned Lilith’s lips. Realization stiffened the remnants of her child’s spine as she pulled herself up straighter and her voice was soft, nearly fascinated as she stated, “The Key.”
Those blue eyes widened and her heart speed up to match the sudden pitch in her breathing, “Buffy are you okay? You’re kinda freakin’ me out. Buffy?” Dawn stepped closer to her, stomach tightening as she finally noticed the paleness of her sister’s features. “Buffy?” She locked gazes and her throat burned with the urge to cry when she saw the bottomless dark that had replaced the hazel of her sister’s eyes.
Her voice came out soft, filled with the regret of the things she had never said. The things she would never get to say, to tell her sister. “Buffy,” was whispered one last time before her screams fell on deaf ears.