It was somewhere between the third and fourth beers that Lilah had carefully set out that Spike finally began to talk.
"See, the thing is, it's not so much that she's, she's beautiful, and she's unattainable, but she's just, she's perfect, you know? She's got that hair, and that skin, and those tiny tank tops she wears, and that thing she does when she gives that little half-smile thing, and- did you know that she's from Ohio?"
Lilah frowned. "I knew there was a Hellmouth in Cleveland, but I thought that Buffy came straight from Hemery to Sunnydale."
Spike snorted. "No, not her. Her." He gestured towards the television.
"Oh," Lilah said. "Katie Holmes." A nod. "Joey Potter." It figured.
"Joey fucking Potter," Spike agreed.
She rolled her eyes. "Silly me, I thought you were talking about an actual living person."
Spike made a noise that could have been another snort and could have been him choking on the beer he clutched in his right hand.
"Well, what do you expect?" Lilah protested. "You're the evil undead, you don't even live in a house above ground like a normal person-"
"I'm not a person."
"Whatever. I thought the only people who watched Dawson's Creek were sixteen-year-old girls with overly romantic ideals."
"Have you ever met Dawn Summers?"
Lilah hadn't, but, "Touche," and held out the bowl of popcorn in silent salute to him. She tried not to laugh at the way he almost missed the bowl twice before grabbing a handful of food. It was a good thing she could handle her alcohol better than he could, or she figured she'd be telling him the secret exits in the Wolfram and Hart office in about two beers.
Of course, that was what she was counting on for him.
"Cute kid. Not as hot as her sister. Buffy... Buffy is hot."
"You've mentioned," Lilah said dryly. He hadn't actually stopped talking about it, in between beers and manic bouts of flipping through all the channels on her expensive cable package, until by the grace of god he'd gotten distracted by the Dawson's Creek theme song and insisted on watching.
Buffy was the entire reason she'd invited him in in the first place, really, so perhaps she should have been a little more willing to listen, but somehow she thought they'd be talking less about her exact favorite shade of lip gloss and more about what kind of weapons she kept stockpiled in the 'Dale.
He'd been lying in wait for her, she knew that, but he hadn't expected her to know. She'd walked down the alley by the bar intentionally, knowing he'd be there for her, and had to force herself not to smile when he jumped out at her, threatened her, told her he knew about her place in Wolfram and Hart and needed a little favor. He was right in the process of vamping out when Lilah thrust out a hand helpfully and said "Hi! You're Spike, right?" At his stunned silence she'd continued. "William the Bloody, sired by Drusilla, two rungs down the line of Angel's lineage? I'm Lilah Morgan. Pleased to meet you."
"Aren't you supposed to be terrified?" he'd asked, gesturing towards the new ridges on his face and the fangs and the yellow glowing eyes. And he'd shaken his head frantically, as though he thought he were broken and had to replace his vampire batteries. "I mean, I know you're evil and all, but do you normally get assaulted in alleys?"
"Oh, sorry," she'd said quickly. "You're plenty terrifying. Really. It's just that after Angel, the whole assault-by-vampires thing lost some of its luster." She saw his eyes narrow at the mention of Angel and pushed on quickly. "I was researching you- your whole family, actually- and then I heard that you were MIA from Sunnydale, and I figured we might be on your way. Where are you going, anyway?"
He growled low in his throat, and didn't answer, just glowered at her, eyes glinting in the moonlight.
"Look, we've got an office poll going. You're either gathering an army or getting a soul. Whichever it is, I'm assuming you need our help."
He'd muttered darkly, something involving the word "bloody" a lot.
"I'm a lawyer," she had continued calmly. "We're not your traditional law firm; we specialize in the mystical. One of our main projects right now is... what I believe is referred to as your sire? Angelus?"
"Angel," Spike had hissed.
"Right. Same thing. Anyway, I was hoping you had a little information...?"
"Yes." And then, just as quickly, "No. Hurt a girl. Gotta get help. On a mission."
She'd eyed him carefully, then nodded. So he was yet another a crazy vampire sprung from Angel's supernatural loins. Again. She'd rolled her eyes. Nothing if not predictable.
Angel, getting off on breaking everyone around him? Quelle surfuckingprise that was.
Turned out Spike wasn't crazy, though. Or he was, but not by Angel. Just by Buffy. Which, despite their best intentions, had not shown up in the files, or even from Files and Records. "The Slayer," Lilah had said in surprise, taking in the effect it had on Spike.
And he'd nodded and said her name like it was a prayer, and talked about hurting her like it condemned him to Hell.
The way he'd talked, you'd think Hell was a bad place.
She'd laid out the plan, then. She'd provide food, a bed or a couch to sleep on, and tickets to wherever the next part of his journey would take him. He'd provide information.
Watching him, practically cross-eyed as he stared at the television, she was beginning to think she'd gotten the short end of the stick.
"You know, they were supposed to date?" Lilah said, pointing to two of the girls on the screen.
"Joey and Jen? That'd be pretty," Spike muttered, slurring. "Jen's hair? Is blonde. Like Buffy's."
"Yes, Spike. Exactly like Buffy's. Except she doesn't look like an anorexic fourteen-year-old. She has tits."
"Oh, you're looking at the nice young girls' breasts?"
Lilah attempted to look prim and proper. "Occasionally I enjoy the aesthetic pleasures that come with-"
"Oh, come off it," snorted Spike. "You just want to see two girls snogging, same as I do."
"It's not those two, anyway. It's Audrey and Jen. The two blondes," she added at his confused expression.
"I know who Jen and Audrey are," he snapped. "I'm undead, not stupid."
"My mistake. I thought you only watched because of Dawn Summers."
And he laughed a little, like this was a joke. "Why do you watch then? Doesn't seem like proper fare for a lawyer such's yourself, but you certainly seem familiar with these characters."
"I'll have you know that we at Wolfram and Hart are expected to keep abreast of-" She paused as Spike chortled merrily, presumably at her use of the word "breast", then continued. "Are expected to keep abreast of trends in entertainment."
"Sixteen-year-old girls with overly romantic ideals?" he teased.
"Oh, fuck you." Lilah said, throwing a piece of popcorn at him with a slight smirk.
Okay, so maybe she wasn't completely sober. So what?
"You wish that you could fuck me. I bet you spent days fantasizing about my hard British cock."
Lilah raised an eyebrow. "Yes. That's exactly it. I hear hard British cock and the first thing I think of is a pathetic washed-up vampire with bleached-blond hair and a mug of pig's blood."
"S'not pig's blood. It's beer."
Lilah didn't bother dignifying that with a response.
"At least I had the good sense to find a good woman."
"The same woman you hit a lot, tried to kill a few times, then stalked for a while before you attempted to rape her?" Lilah offered helpfully.
"Like you've done any better?"
Lilah quickly ran through her own romantic prospects in her head. Which were, she reflected, sadder than she'd like to admit; a series of one-night stands that got her off maybe a third of the times they got her laid, and a few girls from the clubs who had been less than successful at getting her to call them Daddy. "At least I'm not that." She gestured at the TV, where Dawson was presenting an impassioned plea.
Spike smirked. "And I am, then?"
"The perfect ingenue, charming as all hell but unable to maintain a basic human relationship? The serious family issues, the desire to seem much more artistically talented than you are? Idealizing the girl next door that your best friend- sire, whatever- had before you? The hair, for Christ's sake?"
"I'm not like Dawson," he said stubbornly. "I'm at least a Pacey, I'll have you know."
Lilah shook her head, laughing. "God, you're all classic." She paused. "Complete with the lesbians."
"The show didn't have any lesbians."
"They were supposed to. I heard it on Loveline."
"You listen to Loveline?"
"It was on." She shrugged.
"Who are our lesbians, then?" he challenged. "I don't see any lesbians!"
"What about the insanely powerful witch on your hallowed grounds?" Lilah prompted.
"Willow?" Spike said. "Oh, her and Tara. Huh. I figured it would be someone actually important in global prophecy. Darla and Dru or something."
"You have a witch primed to explode on the Hellmouth. What do you think that is?" Lilah asked.
He shrugged. "Hot, when she's kissing her girlfriend. Not as hot as Buffy, but-"
"Could you stop thinking about Buffy for five seconds?" Lilah rolled her eyes.
"What would you bloody well like me to think about then?" he demanded. "Our life's something out of a bleeding soap opera-"
"You know," Lilah interrupted, and she curled her legs up onto the couch, pulling her arms around her knees, just to see his eyes follow the natural line up her body to examine her breasts. "Darla fucked Lindsey. And Dru and Holland in the cellar... well, that's not a pleasant story, but there was that. Angelus fucked over everyone at the office, for what that's worth. Which means you're the only one from your little line to not get some Wolfram and Hart ass. That's, like, the saddest thing I've ever heard."
"Is that a challenge?" and he was growling.
"Do you want it to be? I thought you were busy with your picture-perfect rape victim."
"I didn't rape her."
"Oh. My mistake," and she absently dipped her hand in the popcorn bowl again; placed a kernel in her mouth; chewed slowly and watched his focus on her jugular as she swallowed. Words like honey, but she could tell that he wasn't actually noticing anything but her lips and her pulse. "Love of your unlife, then. Whichever."
He shrugged. "She's prettier'n you are, that's for damn sure."
Lilah rolled her eyes. "Sure. If you have a fascination with ten-year-old boys. Ever consider the priesthood?"
"After the whole Dru thing? Not bloody likely," Spike said with a slight smirk. "Not to mention the accoutrements."
"Like you didn't play with a little holy water in your day."
He smirked at her but said nothing.
"That not in your pet Slayer's arsenal?"
"She's not my pet," and for the first time the growl was angry rather than sexual or drunk. He met her eyes this time, continuing to smile and not saying a word, and she shivered, just a bit.
She placed the bowl of popcorn on the floor carefully, and then pushed up onto her knees, crawling across the couch. "You're waiting for me to drop information about your trip to Africa. I'm waiting for you to share something about your Slayer. We're at an impasse. Which means we keep going until someone snaps-" Lilah ran a single fingernail across his chest and he shuddered despite himself, and Lilah, being Lilah, knew he was no longer pretending- "Or I just give you a thermos of blood and wish you a wonderful trip."
"You have a thermos of blood? And you didn't offer it yet?"
Spike looked like he was about to make a few dozen comments about Miss Manners when Lilah interrupted. "I like to provide fresh food. If my guest liked orange juice, I'd make sure it was freshly squeezed. You follow?"
"I don't much go for human blood, these days."
Such a fucking Boy Scout. "Then consider it a delicacy," Lilah suggested.
And then he kissed her.
It was probably just to shut her up, but it had been too long and at this point she didn't even care. What was important was flesh and heat and the physical taking over the emotional, even just for a bit.
Things to note about kissing a vampire: (1) pretty much the same as kissing a human, except (b) they're a little cooler, closer to room temperature, and (iii) they don't need to stop for air.
There was no question of dominance. The second she started to kiss back he yielded to her, matching her in anything she did but never challenging her control.
She tore at his shirt, sent it flying halfway across the room. She moved her arms and allowed him to peel her own off, place it carefully, reverently, on the couch. Gently pushed his head until he was devouring any bare skin she allowed him near. Lazily unclasped her bra, letting it slip down her shoulders and off her arms and finally pulled away, and he barely seemed to notice, although he lingered more, circling closer and closer to the newly-bared skin, and she gasped.
He was, at the very least, good at what she did.
There was no love involved. She didn't expect any, and neither did he, she figured. It was just sex; pure, carnal, good, but nothing more than that. Sex that never even bothered to pull itself off the couch in the living room; sex that was drunken and sloppy and skilled all at once. Skin against skin until it seemed to vibrate with need; hands and tongues everywhere like they were barely attached to wrists and mouths; barely-suppressed rage floating to the surface as though it were just waiting for an open space in which to take form.
She knew he didn't want to be fucking anyone but Buffy. That was fine. She wasn't pretending that he was anyone else, but would have, if she'd been able to think of anyone she would have preferred.
When they were done, she leaned over the end table and produced a pack of cigarettes, pulled one out, and passed it to him along with a silver lighter. Then she grinned. "What'd you think?"
"I've had better," he said lazily, cigarette dangling from his lips.
"Yeah, so've I." She sighed. "I have to call the office to double check, but we've got a private plane for you. Last I heard, it'll be leaving at four thirty-seven AM. You might want to catch some sleep now while you still can. The plane has necro-tempered windows, but it's a bitch to sleep in the sun, trust me on that one. The TV alarm will go off at three." She stood up, stretching. "Do you need me to say goodbye, or you mind if I enjoy my Sunday, for a change?"
"Go for it," he said, waving her away.
"You just want me to leave you alone so you can brood your way into an amazing hangover, don't you? You really do take after your sire."
When he didn't even crack a smile, she bit her lip. Not that she particularly liked him- because she didn't- but this wasn't even the fun type of vindictive, where the prey looked wounded in battle. It was just pathetic. And Lilah Morgan went for many things, but pathetic wasn't one of them.
She sighed. "Hey, Spike?"
"You're not Dawson."
"Thanks," he said automatically, and then narrowed his eyes. "Why not?"
"Angel has a much bigger forehead."
She said it with a grin, not sure how she wanted him to reply, but let out a slight sigh of- not relief, but release, maybe- when the glower relaxed just a bit and he smiled back at her, before turning away. She gathered her clothing quietly and, clutching her clothes to her chest, carried them back to her room.
"Have a good flight," she whispered to him, just before closing the door behind her. But she doubted that he heard her.
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