In Good Company
Summary : Lilah hates paperwork.
Rating : PG-13
Spoilers : Spoilers through Seasons 7/4, speculation for Angel Season 5.
Pairings: Lilah/Wesley, Spike/Buffy
Feedback : Greatly appreciated (APostModernSleaz@aol.com)
Archive : More than likely okay, but please ask first
Disclaimer : The characters used within are the property of Mutant Enemy, Twentieth Century Fox, and of course Joss Whedon. It's their sandbox, I'm just playing in it.
Notes: Thank you to cousinjean for the fabulous beta, and to Soda and little_bit for their ever-helpful input. (Completed 7/16/03)
Lilah threw the pen down in disgust. It clattered off the edge of her desk and hit the floor, rolling under her chair. Why did mystical resurrections always require three times more paperwork than mystical deaths? After theyíd brought Darla back, Lilah and Lindsey had spent nearly two weeks straight in their offices doing work. And at least Darla had fit the Senior Partnersí plans. But they hadnít counted on Angel giving up the amulet. Hell, sheíd made sure to tell him it had to be worn by a Champion. That alone shoulda been enough to ensure it would have to be pried from his cold, undead hands. But no, he had to go and give it to Spike.
So instead of the amulet cleansing the humanity from Angel, leaving an Angelus who was completely under the control of Wolfram and Hart, they got Spike, who wouldnít have been such a bad runner-up if he hadnít turned out to be a fucking white hat with or without a soul. The little freak even continued to eat pigís blood, despite the firm offering him a mutually-beneficial way to deal with their enemies and employees-to-be-terminated. Definitely not what the Senior Partners had had in mind, which made the paperwork all the more difficult, since it now had to be filled out in triplicate.
She had the urge to make sure Angel hadnít had her transferred back to Hell when she wasnít looking.
Lilah sighed and bent down to retrieve the pen. It wasnít like she had anything better to do than fill out paperwork on a Friday morning. When she straightened herself up, she was startled to find Spike standing in front of her desk, staring calmly at her. He didnít have a lot in common with Angel, thank god, but they both had that frigging vampire stealth. Angel loved using his to sneak up on her, trying to make sure she wasnít plotting against him.
Like sheíd be dumb enough to get caught.
"My secretary said you wanted to see me." Spike ran his hand through his hair and continued to stare at her.
Lilah stretched her mouth into a lazy grin and indicated for him to take a seat, keeping her eyes on him as he settled into the chair. Folding her hands primly across the desk, she leaned forward and continued to smile at him.
After several minutes of silence, Spike finally sighed and said, "Been told Iím quite the looker. Iíd be happy to get you a picture or something, but Angel shoved a load of paperwork on me this morning, so you mind telling me why you called me in here?"
Damn. Sheíd been hoping heíd heard the rumor that had been floating around the entertainment division, the one where Lilah came back from Hell with some deadly and as-yet-unknown superpowers, including laser eyebeams. Sheíd been hoping she could intimidate him. It had been months since sheíd intimidated anyone who wasnít an intern. Even Fred had stopped scurrying around her and learned to just shoot Lilah sideways-glares during the weekly meetings. Especially the meetings where Lilah and Wesley showed up late with at least one of them still wearing yesterdayís clothes.
Oh well, itíd been worth a try. Lilah dropped the grin and leaned back in her chair. "I just have to ask you a few questions so I can complete this paperwork. Itís important that I finish this today, so if Angel complains because your other work is late, tell him I kept you busy." She chuckled. "Actually, tell him whether he complains or not. That should piss him off for a good hour or two."
Spike smirked. "Consider it done."
"Great. Now," she peered at the form, "when the amulet incinerated you, would you say it was a burning feeling, or more icy?"
"No way in hell the form asks that." She turned the paper around and let him look. "Right then. Your lot sure is thorough."
"You donít stay in business for thousands of years by cutting corners."
"Fair enough. Um...." Spike closed his eyes and drummed his fingers on his knees. "Kinda icy, now that you mention it."
"Good, okay....what memories do you have of the time between your death and the resurrection? Please be as specific as possible."
Lilah arched an eyebrow. "Nothing?"
"Thatís unusual." She scribbled some notes on the form. "Weíve never actually resurrected anyone who wasnít sent to hell. Unless this means Darla went to heaven, since she didnít remember anything either." Lilah tried to picture Darla as an angel, propositioning dead priests, and she had to bite back a laugh. "Anyway, it would be worth investigating how the rules work for the other side. There could be a retroactive memory-wipe clause in case of goodie-goodie resurrection. Oh, hey," Lilah looked up and smiled, "we could always call your Slayer friend, the one who got resurrected two years ago! See what she remembers."
Spike shrugged indifferently. "And I could always rip your arm off and beat you to death with it."
"Now see," Lilah chuckled, "anyone else would have gone with the obvious threat of ripping my head off again. Donít worry, as long as Angelís in charge, Iím not allowed to contact Buffy any more than you are."
"Not allowed? I could bloody well call Buffy if I wanted. Angel owns you, not me."
"Uh huh." She pushed her phone across the desk towards him. "Her numberís in the Rolodex marked ĎSlayers,í to your right."
Snatching the phone up, Spike reached over to dial, but his hand froze in midair. After a minute or so, he put the phone back on the receiver and slumped back into his chair.
"Nifty spell, huh? Kinda funny coming from a guy who did this whole schpiel about free will when Jasmine blew into town a couple months ago."
"Any other Cracker Jack surprises I oughta know about?"
Lilah shook her head. "Nope. Just the Buffy thing. Angelís got this insane problem with evil dating his loved ones. Bastard probably would have tried the whammy on Wesley if I didnít have some dirt to hang over his head."
"Oh, and whatís that?"
"Sorry, you know how it goes, secrets are only worthwhile before you share them."
"Whatever. Sheís probably better off anyway." Lilah snorted, and Spike looked at her askance. "What?"
"Itís just funny. You donít have a soul, but you can still keep yourself away from your white hat lover for her benefit. Meanwhile, I have a soul...while on this plane anyway...and I canít do the same. Kinda makes you wonder where the good and plenties got their fucked up black and white values from."
That made Spike laugh. "Right? Like the soul is the be all and end all or something."
"You think theyíd bank on something a little more...tactile...considering they misplaced their bossís a couple months ago."
"Wait a minute," Spike said, leaning forward. "You telling me Angelusó"
Lilah nodded. "Footloose and fancy free for a couple weeks. Thatís another dirty little secret they like to keep quiet."
"Is that how you...." Spike made a cutting motion across his neck.
Lilah grimaced and adjusted her silk Chanel scarf. "Not quite. This was a group effort. Wesley thought Angelus tried to turn me."
"You mean he didnít?"
Raising an eyebrow, Spike let out a low whistle. "Grandsireís losing his touch, passing over a dish like you."
She felt her cheeks briefly flush, then coughed and reached for a glass of water, hoping he wouldnít notice. At least Spike lived up to his reputation as a lady-killer in all senses of the word.
"Okay, last question. Did you choose to wear the amulet, or were you coerced and or tricked in any way?"
A frown replaced Spikeís amused smile, and the vampire sighed. "Buffy chose me to wear it."
"But she didnít force you?"
"Okay." Lilah pushed the form across the desk. "I just need your signature here. Itís nothing binding, just a verification that your statements are true."
Spike scrawled his name across the bottom of the paper in jagged characters, stood up, nodded to Lilah, and started for the door.
Suddenly struck with an idea too good to pass up, Lilah said, "Hey!"
Spike turned around. "Yeh?"
"Angel put a restriction on you calling Buffy...but I doubt he bothered with me. Iíd be more than happy to pass on a message for you."
"And whatís in it for you?" Spike said, crossing his arms.
"Driving Angel crazy."
Laughing, he crossed the room back towards Lilah. "I knew you were a right sort of bird."
"Hey, itís just a relief to have at least one person who isnít a member of the Angel fanclub around. Would you believe he even got the manager of our R&D department following him around? Just write out whatever you want me to tell her and drop it by my office sometime tonight."
Spike nodded and grinned. "Brilliant. And hey, one good turn and all, Iíve seen the way your white hat looks at you."
"Like Iím a good fuck dead or alive?" Lilah smirked.
"No, thatís an entirely different look, believe me. You can just ask Harmony, Iím sure Angelís got a file on her."
"Donít suppose you saw anything about me in there?"
She smiled, shrugged, and took another sip of water. "Canít remember. Anyway, I do want to finish this paperwork sometime before I die again."
"Got it." Spike checked his watch. "Hey, whenís your lunch break? Thereís this bar up the street, only one in this fucking town that serves Bloominí Onions, and they got Passions on the telly every day at two."
"Sorry, Iíve been a One Life to Live girl since the 80s."
"Weíll see about that. Pick you up at one. Maybe Iíll tell you Ďbout the time Angelus got possessed by a girl ghost. Now thereís a story," Spike said, winking as he backed out of the office and closed the door behind him.
Lilah picked up her pen and started on the final bit of paperwork, making a mental note to tell Spike about the time sheíd actually felt attracted to Angel, so of course it turned out heíd been possessed by some horny old geezer. Having an ally in the office would definitely make things more interesting.
But there was no way in hell she was watching Passions.