Waving, Not Drowning
by Doyle

"What about me, Spike?" Harmony wailed, the crossbow weaving erratically in her hands. "You forget about me again? The actual girlfriend, unlike Drusilla and the stupid slayer and -" the weapon found a new target as she narrowed in on the smirking brunette by the Buffy shrine "- I don't even know who you are, but back off of my boyfriend, bitch."

Spike yanked the arrow from his back. "Bollocksing… actually, yeah, who are you?"

"I brought her as a present," Dru said. Then she gave him the pout that had always gotten her whatever she wanted: "Though now I don't think you deserve something half so nice."

"Lilah Morgan," the woman said, stepping forward to offer him a hand. He ignored it, watching her suspiciously as he got up by himself. Too many of these bitches had turned on him in one night for him to trust a brand new one, especially one who looked too amused by this whole thing.

"I don't care what your name is," Harmony said, "one more move on Blondie Bear and you're Donna Karan-dust." Her aim wavered. "Unless you're not a vampire, 'cuz then I guess you're just a body with a big hole through the chest, and that's too nice a jacket to cover in blood…"

Spike snatched the crossbow from her hands and threw it onto the floor. One stamp and it was kindling. "Of course she's a vampire, you brain-dead trollop. No breathing, no heartbeat, she doesn't smell human…"

"Yep," Lilah said, tugging down her collar to show off the still-fresh bite scar across her neck. "All vampires here."

"Except me," Buffy piped up. "Vampire slayer, remember? And when I get out of these chains I'm gonna have so much fun with that title."

Then Harmony was trying to weasel her way out of culpability, and Dru was talking across her, and Buffy was somehow managing to yell at both of them at once and this Lilah Morgan was just looking between the three of them and back at Spike with a smile on her lips and eyebrows raised and he just couldn't take any more.

"Will you all just shut the hell up!"

For a few glorious seconds, all he could hear was Buffy's racing heart and the steady drip of water off in the sewer tunnels. Then, before any of the four women currently making his life a misery could get their second wind, he was up the ladder to the top level, and out into the graveyard.


Half a bottle of Jack and two swiped packs of cigarettes later, his mood wasn't any better. He slumped against the alley wall, passing the bottle from hand to hand and wondering whether Dru's new girl had let her out of those chains yet. Or maybe Buffy'd escaped and staked them all, and she was on his trail right now, face all tight with righteous anger and her hair doing that thing where it sort of flounced…

God, he was so far past pathetic he was into teeny American adjectives like 'lame'.

He didn't look up as his pity party was gatecrashed. "'Less you've brought me more booze, I'm not interested in getting acquainted just at the moment."

Lilah held out a brown paper bag. He peered inside it, checking the bottle's label. Cheap, nasty vodka that could probably make a man go blind and reduce a vampire's vision to human levels. Yeah, that was the stuff. He slid over, left her some space on the packing crate.

"Have a seat, if it's not gonna wreck the outfit. Where's Dru?"

"Still in the cemetery. The Slayer broke out right after you left. "

He'd thought she would. In hindsight, the chains should've been thicker, but he'd had a cattleprod and a point to make and he hadn't been thinking that far ahead.

Lilah kept cataloguing his misfortunes. "Your girlfriend said to tell you she was leaving town. Oh, and she smashed your doll."

Very slowly and clearly he said, "It's not a doll. It's a mannequin." And now that he said it, it did sound a bit stupid. "What the hell have I been doing?" he wondered aloud.

"Probably violating a couple of stalking and harassment statutes. But I could get you off."

Interest diverted from Buffy, he gave her a proper look-over for the first time. Good looking, power suit, shoes that were no doubt expensive and designed by somebody he never wanted to hear of. "What are you, a lawyer?"

She reached him a card from somewhere inside her jacket. Beneath her name and title it read Wolfram & Hart, Attorneys at Law.

"Yeah, Dru mentioned you lot. Brought back Darla in a box or something." He shook his head. "A vampire lawyer."

"I'm a cold, soulless, bloodsucking fiend. And, thanks to Drusilla, I'm a vampire, too."

He dropped the card. Maybe one of the alley rats could use legal counsel.

"You should be getting back." The rest of the whiskey scorched his throat on the way down. He didn't care. He was thinking of other nights with Dru off dancing among headstones, when it would have been him she was waiting for. He glared at the ground. "Your sire'll be looking for you."

"Actually, we should be getting back," Lilah said, standing and brushing the dust off the back of her skirt. Spike's eyes, without any intervention from his brain, followed the movement and settled on her ass.

"I'm on paid vacation till Thursday," she went on, walking away as if she knew he'd follow. "Company policy when someone gets turned. But I can still pull some strings, find out who we talk to about getting that chip out of your head."

"And then what?" he said, trying to make it sound like this was all hypothetical and he wasn't just going to up sticks on the say-so of a pet of Drusilla's. But it was sounding far too attractive - bit of distance between him and the Slayer, no more buzzing Jiminy Cricket in his brain and, if what Dru'd said was right, a chance to seriously piss off Angel. "What's there for me in LA?"

Lilah looked over her shoulder at him and smiled. And for the second time in an hour, he wasn't thinking about Buffy at all.

Back to the fiction index