"So did you understand any of that?" Lilah asked Spike and Gunn after a forty-five minute presentation about the many-worlds theory at the Thursday morning meeting. "Because I got to superstring and then I realized I had a PDA, a digital recorder, and an assistant who translates geek."
Gunn chuckled. "I got it, but only because of comic books," he said. "Spike, yo, you read comics? I know the counselor here won't cop to it in public..."
"Because I don't read comics," Lilah said, sounding aggrieved.
"I glanced at an Action or an Amazing in my time, sure," Spike said. "Not really into the whole culture, though."
Gunn shook his head, clearly mourning that he was alone interested in the mythology and literature of comic books. "Fine," he said as the trio walked down the hallway. "Basically, goes like this. There are lots of universes. Some people say new ones splinter off every time a big choice gets made, like...every what if you imagined has its own space-time continuum somewhere."
"Oh, like Sliders," said Lilah, which earned strange looks from both Gunn and Spike. "Hey, I own my television choices, thank you very much."
Spike snorted. "You slam Marvel and DC, and yet you know Sliders," he said. "It's a bit telling."
"Anyway," Lilah said. "So there are multiple universes. Parallel dimensions a-go-go. Why does it matter? And what was the point of the comic book metaphor again?"
Gunn grinned. "Straight to the point with you, counselor?" he asked. "Which you kind of got. But the point, of course, is that as far as it goes, we're a zero point. Like the Marvel Universe, which takes place in the Earth 617 dimension. Fred is thinking that we should occasionally investigate some of the other dimensions, basically."
"So, Fred also was inspired by Sliders?" Lilah asked wryly. Spike swatted her. "Honest speculation!"
"Yeah, we all know *you*," and Spike wrapped his arms around Lilah lovingly, "Are ever so fond of Fred, Miss Morgan."
"I'm a humanitarian," Lilah said, kicking the door to her office open with one high heel and a naughty glint of a smile. "Bye, Gunn."
Spike managed to close the door with the most efficient method, which was knocking Lilah into it while molesting her neck and shoulder with his mouth. She was far too busy running her hands up and down her lover's back to pay attention to that.
"Mmm," she purred, enjoying the attention as always. "But it does make you wonder, doesn't it? All those universes, almost exactly like ours, but not quite."
"Like the bloody Hitchhiker's Guide joke," Spike said, cupping her breasts through the thin material of the blouse. "It's almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea. Or the universe, as it happens to be."
Lilah pouted, though it was moderately difficult to keep pouting when Spike was busily assaulting a favorite lace bra that she'd gotten at Nordstrom's, part of a very nice set...especially when he'd actually remembered to take her top off first.
"But it's so easy to imagine being in one of *those* dimensions," she said insistently, and Spike groaned, because one of his woman's little quirks was that when she got hold of an idea, she'd pursue it 'til it satisfied her, which was fine enough when the idea was ways to wear out a souled vampire lover, but when it was him wishing for less metaphysics and more moaning? Not as much. "Just a little nudge and could you imagine?"
"Hell and night and damnation?" Spike asked, listening to her heart speed up. "Like what would have happened if that thing riding Cordelia had stuck you with its knife?"
"Oh, then I'd be in Hell doing paperwork," Lilah said. "Wolfram and Hart contract and all...well, before you so nicely severed mine. But what if? What if Angel had asked for some ridiculous request to take the law firm? What if you hadn't seen Buffy and Angel in her bedroom? What if Drusilla hadn't clued us in to what was wrong with Connor?"
"Maybes seldom are, beloved," Spike said, fingers tracing patterns on her bared arms. "I'm rather pleased that you're not dead, myself. Makes for a good universe, having you around."
"You sure you don't want one where Buffy loves you better?" Lilah asked, teasing as Spike groaned and her laughter filled the room. "After all, you got a soul FOR HER."
"Bollocks to that," said Spike, returning to his sexual ministrations, which this time, Lilah began returning with her usual verve, one leg hooked around his, eyes half-closed with delight. "I got it for me, thinking I knew what I wanted. To be Buffy's white knight, show I was worthy. And it just goes to show what we know, doesn't it?"
Lilah chuckled, sucking on Spike's earlobe as she assessed how hard he was. "Very little," she agreed, going to work on the buttons on his jeans. "So now the soul's for me?"
"Now it's all for you," Spike said, knocking them onto her couch (bought specifically because the chiropractor had complained that Lilah was wrecking her spine with her preferences for sex standing up, both with Spike *and* ol' pillocksy Wes, the nance) and pulling her wrists over her head. "Soul, body, heart."
"You spoil me. Really." And when she lunges up to kiss him, heart pounding from something other than fear or anxiety, she can't help but smile into it.
To universe 617. The best of all possible worlds.
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