distribution: list archives, standing ok, others by permission.
disclaimer: Joss, not me.
timeline: Set between S3/4 Angel, 6/7 Buffy.
summary: Spike wants advice about his soul. He blunders in on the wrong woman.
Been a hell of a day for creatures of the night, by which I mean me. Spent the whole time tramping through one stinking sewer or another like some kind of rat, getting madder than I already was trying to track down bloody Angel and cadge a bit of advice. Not that I expect much from that wanker except learning what not to do with the bleeding thing, but it's a start.
Of course, the poof's made himself impossible to find -- probably heard I was back in town and went into hiding to protect his hair gel. I even went straight to that hotel of his only to discover there's a brand new member of our defective little clan. Hell of it is, the boy's just as much Darla's bastard as Angel's, flesh and bone, a last gift from her to a callow universe she hated on general principles.
Skinny hateful prat he is, too. Hair as stupid as the old man's and triple the attitude of his mum with none of the style. We bonded a bit over hating Peaches and his hair, but Connor-lad's got no more clue than anyone about where to actually locate the man.
Mouse and her big strapping beauhunk tell me if I want to find Angel, because apparently asking ain't enough to establish that, to go pay myself a call on one Wesley Wyndam-Pryce. You don't have to tell me twice he's persona non grata 'round these parts. I skiv off with his address and off I head for Wesley's, wondering why the big mystery about Angel's location.
I end up on the first floor of a moderately posh apartment building in Santa Monica. Puts the hotel to shame, and I figure part of the reason why the kidlets hate the book-boy is that he's done better without 'em hanging about.
Bit petty for heroes, but I'm not judging.
For some reason, the sight of a decrepit blond vamp with obvious personal problems don't make the neighbors nervous. Wesley must have himself regular visitors far weirder, I suppose, though damned if I can think of who that'd be. None of my business anyway, so I knock at the door, one two three.
No answer. I knock again, because I know someone's about.
When the door finally opens, I find myself staring at someone who ain't no bleeding ex-Watcher for sure. Not unless all them cracks Buffy made about Princess Wesley were more than just jokes.
"Hello," says the prettiest lady I've seen since I left the girl to seek my fortune and my undoing. "Looking for Wesley, right?"
"We've got an appointment," I lie, putting on a grin could melt any woman's heart. "Can I come in?"
The lady raises an elegant eyebrow and I know I've bollocksed it up somehow. "I see," she purrs, slinking toward the sofa and beckoning. "Come in and tell me all about it. After all, Wes told me to come over because his evening was free."
Bugger all -- but I ain't one who'll look a gift horse in the mouth. So I stroll right in, bold as brass, drop into a handy chair right across from the bird and casually light up a fag.
"I've got a few questions for him," I tell her, offering a cig. She shakes her head. "Things only he knows."
She inclines her head and I'm impressed at how well she covers up that white-trash background of hers. I'm supposing Wesley's got her number, too, poor bird. Small-town bumpkin gone big city, smart enough to know she can't wash it away, so she's tried to soak it into her bones. Done a damn good job where it counts, too. I'd be scared off my arse to face her down in a boardroom or at a fancy-dress affair.
But, oh, put this one in the bedroom, and from the smell of her, she'll scream for a hard cock as loud as one of them girls from those videos I found rummaging in Xander's basement. Had a great bloody stack of 'em, Harris did, all kinds, including these absolutely shite couples videos for him and the ex-demon which had to be suffered to be believed.
Speaking of suffering, Anya'd like this one. They'd make a right pair, lusty and hard and a treat to watch as they whipped their spineless boys into shape. Of course, I don't like to think about Anya, or I remember I had her upside down and screaming like there wasn't a tomorrow to look forward to, and it makes me remember how unworthy I am.
"You look like hell," my hostess remarks, stretching out indolently on the sofa to give me a view. "I might be able to tell you what you want, if you ask."
She's playing me, but damned if I know how. "I'm looking for Angel. I need some advice from the big lug."
"Looking for Angel?" she asks, a grin crossing her face. "Well, maybe if you ask Wes extra-nice, he'll tell us both."
"Whatinhell's that supposed to mean?" I snap. And yet, this tiger-girl doesn't crack. She favors me with another smile before rising up on her elbows and showing off those breasts she's most certainly proud of.
"It means," she informs me smugly, "Angel and his Wondergirl assistant disappeared one night last month and no one's seen or heard from him since. Nobody's got a clue where they are, except Wes. Everyone knows dark, conflicted, naughty Wesley is holding out on us."
"Is he now?" I ask, aping her vocal tones.
"You should hear the phone calls from kiddy playtime hour," she assures me with a nod. "'Bad man, tell us where Angel is! And never call us!'"
Bugger all. Just like the poof to fuck off and leave everyone in the lurch, innit? And the one time I might have needed him.
"So he's just...gone?"
"That's what I said," she replies with a sigh. "Angel's gone bye-bye, so no advice for you, William."
My name on her lips shocks me. Who's this sodding bitch think she is, dropping my human name like a bleeding party favor? How's she know my name, anyway? I don't know hers, and that's for certain.
"I don't believe we've been introduced," I say, starch in spine and glare on face. "Spike."
"Lilah Morgan, Vice President of Special Projects, Wolfram and Hart," she replies cool as you please, shaking my hand. Her name's not familiar, but I know the firm.
Bloody fucking hell, what's one of Angel's people doing in bed with Wolfram and Hart? Has he gone out of his head? Though truth be told, in days gone by I'd be hard-pressed not to try her out myself. Evil lawyer bitch looks like she could ride a bloke into a lather and leave him needing more.
"A pleasure," I say, trying to recover my composure.
"Not really," she answers coolly. "I'm not fond of vampires. And particularly your family. They make me look for sharp wooden objects."
"Don't blame me," I say. "Angel's a fucking wanker. Can't help that I'm related."
Lilah Morgan, Wolfram and Hart, fixes me with a glare. "I'm not talking about Angel--not just about Angel, anyway. Darla was never my favorite undead American, and then Drusilla--" she shivers and looks away. "What's with Drusilla and dolls? You have *no* idea what I promised her to get out of her hands alive."
Bloody hell. No wonder the lady knows me. She's fucked the entire family.
"They talk to her," I say helplessly.
"I'm aware," she answers with venomous sarcasm. She's got me damned vexed, this creature. Knowing me when I didn't even have her name. It's vexing, the very soul of vexation. "Are you okay? You look--"
"Like hell," I say, seating myself next to her, getting right cozy with her personal space. This smooth serpent, thinking she knows me. I've got this thing in my chest now, making me see things. Hear things. Making me feel things that ache worse than anything except for the knowing that the girl's never going to bloody want me again.
No girl could want me, none of them with their big moist eyes, their soft parted lips wet and looking for kisses. It's in me now, and their screams aren't comforting, and I know I can't ever be loved. I'm not worthy of it. No girl in the world could look on me to share her bed...and now I've got my hand on her knee. Not my girl, not the Slayer with her blue eyes and lemon-sweet skin. This one.
I've got voices in my head bones these days. And they're telling me something I want to hear: this ain't no bloody girl.
"I think you want to get your hand *off* my thigh," she orders very softly but very distinctly. "Spike."
She's not fooling me, not this bird with her blooming clever face and calculating brain. All the power in the room is hers and if she really wanted my hand off her thigh, it would be.
"You think you've got it all in that head of yours," I tell her. Warm, she's so blooming warm, and she's not moved but for her pupils. "Calling me by my name when we weren't introduced. I'm different now. Not William. Not Spike. It's in me now and I'm not what I once was."
"Is there some rule where anyone related to Angel has to be a blithering idiot?" Lilah asks with a sharp exhalation of breath, clearly disappointed in Spike the Bloody. Of course she fucking is. All the girls know that Spike's naught but sound and fury signifying nothing but a broken heart and boundless unworthiness. "What, exactly, is in you?"
"I tried to carve it out, but it's fucking permanent. Screaming in me and I can't bear it," I try to explain. "You have one, don't you? How do you stand it, hurting people with it in you all the fucking time?"
Lilah, yes, that's her name, Lilah, smooth syllables on honeyed tongue, she rubs her temples and asks me slowly, like she's talking to a small deficient child, "Spike, do you have a soul?"
"Pounding in my damn head like a hangover."
"Fuck on toast," she mutters under her breath before looking up at me again, her lips suddenly moist and parted and her eyes full of something new. Interest. "New development?"
"New enough," I answer. "You didn't know, did you?"
"I didn't," Lilah admits. My hand's still on her thigh all nice and cozy, and she's not squirming away like a good girl would, the kind of girl waiting for her man to come home and give it to her hard. "It must be painful."
"I did it for a girl," I say, squeezing the flesh and reveling in the touch. "She couldn't love me, not as I was. No girl could love a monster like me. I had to get it, be as I was. For her."
Lilah nods. She moves slow, no sudden movements. Then her hand's on my face, gentle like I never expected any woman to touch me again, smoothing the worry out of my brow. She smells so fucking good, like blood and sex and life and her man and good perfume and I want to drink her in.
"I can help you," she whispers, her face near to mine. I can hear her heart beat and the sound of her breathing and it makes me want. Humans are so damnably liquid. Sometimes it makes a man want to plunge in and drown. "If you're agreeable."
I could sate myself on smoother seas, abjuring forever the Slayer's bloody tempest, all to discover I was neither monster nor man. This one's right before me, ripe before me, and I'd have to be a damn fool not to at least taste and see.
"I could perhaps," and I slide my hand further up her thigh, "use a bit of solace. It went bloody badly with a girl."
Lilah breaks character and snorts disgustedly. The game is temporarily shattered. Bugger all. She's no safe harbor; Lilah's got her own game, her own Wesley, and all I am is a bit of a challenge, a potential client or specimen to unravel, much fucking luck to her.
"Always does," she says bitterly, pulling away and falling back against the couch. "Let me guess. She was pure and heroic and good and couldn't fill a B-cup?"
The way she's got herself arranged, it's very hard not to knock her flat on her back and have at it. Despite the interruption, I know Miss Lilah won't say no to a rough shag. But I can feel the bite in her voice, something I recognize so clearly that I can't help but pay attention.
"Is that who he's fucking in his head when he's between your legs?" I ask, leaning forward and parting those shapely knees without resistance. She's wearing a garter belt and it gets me wanting again. Wanting her, wanting to fuck, wanting something. "Something pale and wan and not up to your standard?"
I run my hands up her warm inner thighs, shoving her posh skirt up to her waist so I can see how all the clothes fit together, garters and stockings and not a lick of underwear. She shivers, but doesn't speak.
"I bet he doesn't," I tell her, intoxicated by the subtlety of her. She's seducing me so carefully I think I'm seducing her, damn her eyes. "I love the queen of Sheba, finest of women, and when I touch these--" a squeeze of warming flesh-- "I can see you just fine."
Lilah laughs. It's mirthless hard and gives me the shakes. Shards of glass from her broken heart, broke so long ago it's impossible to fix, and I know how it goes. Pure and heroic and somehow so tedious that it's hard to believe the prince or princess would waste their time.
"I didn't realize you were a poet," she says. "It's not in the file."
"Bugger the poetry," I answer with a hungry smile on my face. "I'm fairly sure it's not what's peaked your interest."
I incline my head to her unworthy and yet so very toothsome thighs (how lovely are thy legs with garters, o prince's daughter!) and lick a long stripe upwards. She gasps -- half with surprise, half with fear.
"What the hell--?" she cries, her voice trembling as my hands hold her knees apart and I trace the veins in her legs with the very edges of my teeth. Oh, how right I was to guess that Lilah gets off on controlling her fear. "Oh, God."
"I could stop," I murmur, looking up at her. "But you said you'd help me."
"I--" and her voice is stilled, her thighs are soft and wet, and I'm undoing the garters with absolute fucking precision to make sure I don't tear the material. White silk. She's all silk and vanilla and the fear of the cold is evaporating out of her oh-so-canny eyes.
I need a sanctuary. I need something warm that will open for me. I want her so badly, and this one will do for now, someone who understands the way of it. Loving what can't love you. Needing it so bad that you'll let yourself be used for the feel.
This unworthy creature, bloody hot to trot for it, trembling on the vine and waiting to be plucked and I ease her stockings down, revealing more flesh, blood-warmed sweet fucking flesh to worry and nibble as she begins to whimper and shift beneath me. All that wetness, blood and slick and sweat and I pause a moment to look at her face, blurred with lust and fear and maybe boredom and disgust.
"If this is what'll help me, you'll do it, won't you?" I ask.
Half-laugh, half-gasp. "Yes."
"He'll walk in," I warn her, hands on her hips, thumbs pressing into the bones. "He'll see you like this."
"Yes," she agrees lazily. "He will."
"Do you care?"
"Not especially," she murmurs, undoing her blouse button by button. "It'll be exciting."
She's a safety net and I'm an adrenaline rush. We understand each other perfectly. Nothing is what it bloody seems, though my mouth's mere inches from where she's wet and hot and swollen with desire. We're not fucking each other. My tongue can be on her quim, one of her hands can be resting on my head (the way it is right fucking now) and it's not about sex. Not about the way she's starting to moan.
"Fuck me," she cries. "Yes. It--yes--like that--oh please, like that."
She loves him, I think. The way I've bloody lost my manhood, my mind, and gained my soul for a girl with yellow hair and eyes cold and blue like the sky in winter, you'd think I'd know all there was to know about love. Instead, I've got my mouth on another woman's cunt, licking and nibbling and doing some complicated fucking finger work. Listening to the wail and moan of siren voices. Still. It's love.
Why bother, elsewise? She wants him to come in on this and be angry. She wants him to know he cares.
"Keep going," she encourages hoarsely. "Spike--"
The lady's kind enough to remember my name, at least. I'll give her that. To use it with passion, as though it mattered who the hell I was. Though I suppose whatever game she's playing with herself, it's a bit of a coup to fuck and fuck over the one souled vampire currently available.
It'll backfire on her. And before I can process the wherefore and why, I've pulled away from her and she whimpers in protest.
"The hell?" she asks, as confused as I am. "Why are you stopping?"
"Don't be stupid," I tell her, getting up. "You love the wanker. Does he love you?"
"Who the fuck are you, my analyst?" she answers, yanking down her skirt. "No. He doesn't. He cares, a little. But no, he doesn't love me and I don't love him and you can fuck off anyway. Wesley doesn't know where Angel is."
She stands up, the lust replaced with fury and discomfort as she smoothes her hair and glowers at me with vengeance in her eyes. Perhaps I should have just followed through, damn the bloody torpedoes, but I'll never get within a foot of her again except if she's got a stake in my heart.
"You sure about that?" I ask as she heads for the bathroom, banging and stomping up a storm.
"Get out," she orders, poking her head out. "I have no problems with staking your ass. The firm doesn't know you exist, and nobody else would care. So go away."
The door slams and I sit there, not knowing whether to stay, go, or apologize. I finally decide to go and give up on my insane quest to find Angel. What the hell use would he be, anyway? Poof can't even hold on to his soul. I don't really need him giving me advice.
It rankles, of course, being forcibly rejected by a tart like Miss Lilah, and I end up sitting on the Santa Monica Pier, trying to figure out what happened there.
Women. Damn 'em all, they never care if you're trying to do right if you scotch their plans. Doesn't matter if it's the girl or the woman or the mad vampire being serviced -- they get theirs and fuck all to your end.
I flick my cig butt into the sea.
It's time to go back to Sunnydale. Face my demons. Face the girl. Because nothing else or no one else will.
I'm not worthy to be helped. So I'll have to help myself, and that's the end of it, innit?
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