Access Denied
by Amy

Rating: PG-13? R? Something like that.
Spoilers: I set it between BS4/AS1 and BS5/AS2. But I'm sure there's some later spoilers thrown in.
Ship: Implied Lilah/Faith, implied future Spike/Buffy, implied Spike/Angel, Lilah/Spike snark.
Summary: It's like ten thousand spoons, when all you need is a knife... to get that damn chip out of your head. It's meeting the man of your dreams... or someone else to help you who's not a lawyer who's awfully fond of mind games and mockery. And isn't it ironic? Not really, actually. But I guess it could be.
Notes: for sallyanne, who's starting a Spike/Lilah site, and who gave me the prompt of five words to use: cigarette ashes, maraschino cherries, compac(t?) mirror, dubious, and unbelievable.
Also? World, I'm sorry.

The office was elegantly furnished, and spacious, and beautiful. It would have taken anyone years to build up something this beautiful. Lilah, not being anyone, had just taken months. She had some flaws, but lack of style was not one of them.

It was more than she could say for him. His duster was dirty, his shoes were caked with mud, and she was just waiting for the right moment to pull out her compact mirror and show him the small but noticeable blood moustache on his upper lip.

He looked completely out of place. It was wonderful.

"You look dead," Lilah commented. "Extinguish that, please."

The bleached blond turned to her, cigarette dangling from his teeth. "I am dead."

"But normally you don't look it, or so I'm told. Extinguish that, please." This time, her words were a bit more tense, a bit more intimidating.

"It's not exactly hurting my lungs here. And unless I'm horribly mistaken, death won't really stop you too much, either."

"Once upon a time," Lilah said, pacing the office with the self-assurance that only a beautiful evil lawyer could have, "there was a smoker. His name was Les Murray, I think. He had an office on the third floor. But that's not the important part of the story." She glanced up. "Are you listening?"

He nodded.

"No, you're not. Although before you ask, yes that print's an original, eighteen thou on the black market, and if you even attempt to steal it I'll make sure you and Mr. Sun become intimate acquaintances. Are we clear?"

Another nod, this one tinged with fear.

"Beautiful. Anyway, Mr. Murray was smoking in his office one day. His own private office. No one to see him or ask questions. One of the senior partners stopped by with a random question. And let me tell you, he was not pleased."

Spike snorted. "And I suppose you saw the body?"

"No, I saw him. Alive. The next day." Lilah paused. "Well, I saw most of him. Technically I saw all of him, but at different times, in different parts of the building. All of them seemed to be in incredible amounts of pain."

The cigarette ashes were floating to the ground before she finished her sentence. Lilah smiled, almost ferally.

Days like this, she really loved her job.

"So, what can I do for you, Mister..." Lilah opened the file on her desk. "Mister William the Bloody. Well, that's a nice name. Was your father Mr. The Bloody senior, or is 'The' a middle name?"

"Spike," he said. "The name is Spike."

"Ooh, very touchy," Lilah said. "Have you considered anger management?"

Spike looked up and glared menacingly. "Why not read the rest of my history, the part that tells you how I tore the hearts out of little girls and ate them for breakfast?"

"I thought that was one of your best qualities," she said lightly. "Can't stand the damn kids. You were really doing the good citizens of Europe a great service until you came to this fine land to terrorize the Slayer- a job which, by the way, this firm whole-heartedly supports- and all of a sudden-" Lilah slammed the file shut abruptly. "No more death. You know, I can't really be scared of a vampire who hasn't had a human kill on record in almost a year."

"Maybe your records are wrong."

"Frankly, Spike, we have resources you've never even dreamed of. You can't breathe by a Hellmouth without at least five of my contacts mailing in a report to HQ."

"I can't actually breathe anywhere."

"I'm sorry, I thought you were the one here to ask me a favor. If I've made a mistake..."

Spike snorted.

"That's intake of air, by the way. As is speaking. Just in case they didn't have that in biology when you were just a young Bloody. You vampires really need to start learning your own physiology before you lecture the rest of us." Lilah's lips quirked up into a smile. "Now. I know vampires need blood to survive. I know you're a vampire. I know you haven't eaten a human being in almost a year. And I know that no vampire on this planet besides Angel is lame enough to get a soul. Which means that either you're deeply stupid, or you're impotent."

Spike glared.

"Or both, I suppose, although I don't know why you'd admit that to me."

"Are you going to help me or not?"

"It depends on a lot of things." Lilah relaxed back into her armchair. It was a gorgeous piece of furniture, one that had cost more than just one arm and a leg- although none of those were her limbs, so she wasn't particularly inclined to care- and was possibly the most comfortable piece of furniture known to man. It made her feel powerful. Intimidating. Evil.

She smiled. "How are you at giving head?"

He scowled at her, clearly trying to figure out if she was trying to trick him or not.

"I thought it was a reasonable question. I mean, just because you're impotent doesn't mean you can't give-"

"I'm not bloody impotent!"

Lilah shrugged. "Okay. So you tell me your problem, and we'll work out fair collateral. Okay?"

Spike sighed. "Things were fine. Then some boys with laser guns come at me, stun me unconscious, and shove a computer chip into my head."

Lilah nodded slightly, smiling with recognition. "Maggie Walsh, right? I heard her presentation when she was looking for funding. Fascinating program."

"Not when it's in your bloody skull!"

"Sorry. Right. Why don't you continue your story, then. I'll smile and nod like I care."

"So she put this thing into my brain, right? And now I can't..." Spike mimed biting the armrest.

"So you're impotent."


"So you can eat people?"

"Not as such."

"Okay. Impotency. And I assume you want to be potent again?"

"Can we stop saying-"

"Hey, I understand. You just want to be able to get it up again." At his look, she smiled. "You know, your it. Your vamp face. Grr, evil?"

He blinked. "You're fucking unbelievable, you know that?"

"Oh, I'm a completely unbelievable fuck. You should try me sometime. I do things with maraschino cherries that would stun you for days."

"I somehow doubt that."

"Don't fool yourself. Just because Slayers have a few extra muscles, doesn't mean practice doesn't improve upon a few things. And the one you want? Frankly, I wouldn't even consider it until she's had some practice. At least Faith has skills."

Spike's dubious look had transformed into one of horror. "You're not seriously insinuating-"

"No, I think I was outright stating. Should I start insinuating? I can do that."

"I do not want to shag the Slayer!"

"Spike. William." Lilah crossed and uncrossed her legs. She'd found that a bit of Sharon Stoning often helped the process. "Mr. The Bloody. -Or is it just Mr. Bloody?" She didn't bother waiting for an answer. "I'm going to help you if you're honest with me, but- okay, what are you doing?"

Spike was growling, and his game face was going on. Lilah sighed.

"Now, that's a stupid move for a lot of reasons. First of all, you know that I know that you can't eat me, so that's not really life-threatening in the least. But more to the point, you're threatening me, which means that Wolfram and Hart is legally requried to throw your ass out on the street. Now, because you've done nothing to actually harm me, you're more than welcome to wait in the lobby til nightfall. But I'd like to request you remove yourself from my office, or I'll be forced to call s