This ficlet was inspired by a recent conversation on Buffyforums as to who Twilight might actually be. This was one idea I came up with...
Season 8, rating G, 428 words.
Behind the Mask
Twilight stalked rapidly through the corridors of the underground base, the minion at his heels scurrying to keep up.
"... tell him the answer's no. Then get Voll to send three more squads to Mexico to check it out. And then I want to see Madison in my office directly afterwards."
"Yes, sir. I'll see to it straight away."
"Good. This business here is a distraction I don't need. We've got Summers on the ropes, and I need to keep the pressure on. Can't be wasting too much time."
"It won't take a moment, Sir, I assure you."
"It had better not."
Twilight thrust open the glass door, and took in the room with its banks of glowing computer screens and humming electronics with a deep breath of satisfaction. Technology at its finest. He always felt vaguely dirty after having to deal with magic-users and demons, so being here now was balm to the soul. Of course it had its downside too; advanced high-tech always seemed to have to come with an endless supply of geeks attached to keep it running. The nerdiest he'd ever seen was in the room now, talking to a woman he didn't recognise.
"...more than six times in a row now! The risk of neural degeneration increases every time we..."
"But that's what she asked for, and the client is always right. Still, I'll take what you say under advisement, and... oh. Hello, Twilight."
"Do I know you?" He would have frowned menacingly, but wearing a mask took that option away. A shame.
"I work here. It's a pleasure to meet you in person at last."
"Hmm." Twilight looked at her searchingly again, then dismissed her from his mind. Just another minion. The nerd was beckoning him forward, smiling ingratiatingly.
"This won't take a moment, sir. You know the treatment is essential to maintain your powers at full strength."
"I know. Get on with it." He sat down and waved him forward imperiously.
"Um, I'm sorry, but... the mask. You need to take off the, uh, very impressive and cool mask before we..."
Twilight stared at the woman, who took the hint and scurried out of the room. A minion who was quick on the uptake, then. All too rare these days. He stripped off the mask and leaned his head back.
"Be quick about it."
Brilliant white light flashed, outlining the bones of his face in sharp relief. His expression convulsed in pain, then smoothed out again into a blank, childlike stare.
"Did I fall asleep?"
"For a little while."