Beautiful Young People
by Jennifer-Oksana

They're too old for the nightclub by at least ten years, but as Lilah points out, that doesn't stop George Clooney or most a-listers from frequenting places like this, all LA glitz and sheen populated by nubile barely-legals and under wearing beer cozies and sparkly scraps of fabric masquerading as clothing. She also points out that despite the girl in a string bikini bra with rhinestones and the fringe skirt two inches long gyrating in go-go boots, plenty of eyes have been on Lilah's modest black leather pants and high-necked top.

Wesley's eyes have primarily been on Lilah during these lectures, which to Lilah's thinking is all that matters. For all of Wesley's many faults, he's never been fond of the varnished Los Angeles blonde, and the crowd is overwhelmingly barbie dolls rubbing up on each other before attacking their male victim of choice to the club mix of bland top-40 pap.

"Why did you drag us here?" he's shouting in her ear as he slides her another vodka martini and they look at the teeming dance floor with some disgust, his hand on the bare patch of skin at the small of her back just in case the lonely bastards drinking and watching nearby don't get the point. Lilah finds it deeply endearing, and favors Wes with a wicked smile as reward.

"All eyes on the stage," she replies, nibbling on his earlobe to earn herself a groan. He's so very much hers and vice versa. "See anything you like?"

Wes raises an eyebrow. "I've been looking at her all evening," he says, hand still on the small of her back. "Why?"

"Just look," Lilah says, half-purring. Wes, suspicious of whatever Lilah has planned, eyes the stage, trying to pull out specific forms from the morass of half-naked girls...oh.

Dawn and Faith, bodies inches apart. Dawn's hair covers up the fact that her top is held together by dainty little strings of material laced across her back. Her skirt is a little longer than the blonde bimbo squad, but it's still less a skirt and more the suggestion of one. At least it's a sensible black skirt and not one of those idiotic things with ruffles.

Faith's head is thrown back, the look of someone absolutely entranced by the beat of the music and the person she's dancing with. There's nothing especially trendy about Faith; she's wearing a pair of low-cut jeans about to fall off her serpentine hips, black boots, and a skintight red shirt. Faith's an eternal classic, and the way she writhes with her eyes closed is inspiring more than one head to turn.

Oh, indeed, someone's in the mood to play dirty. Wesley looks back at Lilah, who's taking an all-too-innocent sip of her drink as she delicately arches her eyebrow. Butter wouldn't melt in her mouth, would it?

"What do you have in mind, Miss Morgan?" Wes growls into her ear, the hand no longer a romantic gesture and more a reminder that if they were going to play hardball, he would probably win.

"Nothing...evil. It's even kind of fun," Lilah lies, shimmying a little closer. Wesley decides that perhaps, just perhaps, he doesn't have the advantage in a game of dirty pool. "You can take home one of them tonight. Which one?"

"You're not serious," Wes says, taking a longer-than-strictly-necessary drink of his gin-and-tonic. He has, after all, willingly signed up for regular outings, sex, and conversation with this lovely and amazing madwoman, and he better than anyone knows what capricious is coming from her.

"No?" Lilah asks with a playful grin ghosting across her lips. "You asked about it last week."

"You threw me out of the apartment," Wes sputters, eyes still fixed on Faith and Dawn despite his objections. "And it took you ten minutes to realize it was MY apartment."

Lilah chuckles and kisses him on the cheek. "Hey, I remembered the clothes eventually," she chides kittenishly. "So...which one?"

"I only get one?" Wesley asks, surprised at how serious he sounds as his gaze drifts away from Lilah's array of slyly amused expressions to Dawn's fingers hooking into Faith's belt loops and pulling her close. "Won't the other be terribly disappointed?"

"You're such a dirty old man," Lilah teases, close enough to touch. Despite its lack of novelty, Wes never quite gets over how much he likes touching Lilah; there's a certain frisson in having his arm around the best-looking (and most dangerous) woman in the club while they watch the girls show off for them. "I like that."

"Now I know you're not serious," Wesley replies.

"I'm always serious, lover," Lilah replies. "If you don't choose, I will, and I'm very much thinking Little Miss Muffet. There's something about bookish brunettes with blue eyes that gets me all hot and bothered..."

Wesley, irrationally made jealous by the comment, pulls Lilah in for a long kiss that's meant to remind his lover that he's the one she's here with. Not either of the girls who are still dancing with each other -- for attention or for pleasure, Wesley's not sure.

"I liked that," Lilah says as she pulls away, her fingertips brushing over Wesley's stubble. "I'd like another. But not until later. Which brings us back to our dilemma, doesn't it?"

Her eyes trail back to the pale skin and dark hair being flashed on the crowded stage. Wesley swallows several times and follows suit, trying to consider how he could make the choice. Clearly, it's a test...but Wesley has never been especially good at deciphering what Lilah's actually testing, and tonight's no different. He's passed the fidelity test, and this isn't some proof of devotion or she wouldn't keep pushing the issue of choice. It's also not about reminding Wes that he's a dirty old man, despite the joke.

"What do you want me to say?" Wes asks. "I'd rather not share you, Lilah."

"Flattery will get you nowhere," Lilah replies distractedly, eyes fixed on Dawn rather intently. "Do you think she's still a virgin?"

Wesley chokes on his drink at the words. Damn it all, just when he thinks he's heard the ultimate limit of inappropriate from Lilah, she finds a new level. And now his eyes are also on Dawn, wondering right along with...

"Angel's right, you know," he says with a slight tinge of awe. "You are the epitome of all that is corrupt, wicked, and wrong with the universe."

"Yeah, probably," Lilah says, laughing hard. "But your face! You should have seen yourself. It was precious."

Precious? Lilah has most certainly held the upper hand too long now. Wesley, instead of responding to her latest barbed jab, turns his eyes to Faith and doesn't bother to disguise the assessment in his expression. The gleam in his eye that reminds Lilah that Wesley does, in fact, have a reason to talk to either Faith or Dawn. That they might actually dance with him and force Lilah to either endure the flirting or admit that she's a dreadfully jealous lover despite her bravado.

"If you're not serious, now is most definitely the time to make that clear, Lilah," Wesley says in his quiet voice, considering each girl and mentally categorizing what she would look like calling his name. Their names. What exactly they'd ask for in a situation like this, and Wesley's very aware that Lilah is doing much the same, no matter how reluctantly.

She won't back down from a challenge like that; it's not in his Lilah to accept his arbitrary ultimatums to her and crumble in defeat. They both know they're not entirely interested in the proposition, and they both know that neither is going to pull back. Brinksmanship as played by the truly ruthless; it never goes well, but it's irresistible nonetheless.

"You know me better than that," she says coldly, lips set in a line. "Have a choice or not?"

They've long since stopped looking at the dance floor to look at each other, a stray strand hanging in one of her eyes, his jaw set. The world has ceased to exist beyond Lilah and Wesley for a very long time. Perhaps only for a minute, but at 180 beats per minute, that's almost eternity.

"Oh my God, you owe me a drink!" a shrill feminine voice cries, breaking the deadlock and the spell. Wesley and Lilah blink, jump, and realize that the targets of their private game have found them. "Faith, I TOLD you that guy looked like Wes."

Dawn giggles, her mass of artificially curly dark hair giving her braless breasts camouflage from the pervs. Faith snickers, clearly disinterested in the attention she's getting from the balcony.

"Yo, I didn't realize Wes got his jollies macking on hotties in public," Faith replies, eyeing Lilah carefully. "So, you two, huh? Didn't know it was a serious thing."

"Oh, it's very...thing-like," Lilah says, shooting a look at Wesley. He can't help but be a little relieved. The real bodily presence of twentysomething girl-creatures and their sweat-damp rags tends to lower the illicit sexual thrill of plotting to seduce one like she was prey. "How are you?"

"Can't complain," Faith says, grinning at Wes. "Never thought I'd see prissy-ass Wes groping his date like that in public."

"We thought it was totally sexy," Dawn adds quickly. "You guys are SO hot."

Wesley, not Lilah, is the one who laughs at that, hearty guffaws that alarm the hell out of Faith, and make Dawn suspect he's laughing at them, not with them.

"What?" Faith says, putting an arm over Dawn's skinny shoulders just as the insipid song about milkshakes starts deafening the room. "No, really, WHAT are you two freaks of nature up to?"

"Answering two questions," Lilah says cheerfully, elbowing Wes so he'll stop choking with laughter. Not that she doesn't prefer him smiling, but he's being a complete ass. "One, so do you girls dance with women just to get attention?"

Faith shoots Lilah a Look with a capital L that reminds Lilah to ask her assistant or Lorne about the girl playing Tina on The L Word, because she looks remarkably like Justine the Vampire Slayer. Dawn looks at her shoes, and then tries to glare like her dark-haired companion. To use the parlance of the teenager, she's busted. Lilah files that away for future reference.

"And?" Dawn asks tartly, only compounding her mistake.

Wesley, Lilah notes, has managed to start choking or coughing just in case he is called upon to speak at this most inopportune moment. Bastard. But he'd never manage to say it anyway, and so Lilah delivers the line, temporarily luxuriating in playing the bitch queen again.

"Which one of you were we going to take home?" she says, expecting to get a bruise out of it, or at least slapped. Some things don't change even with time, but what the hell? It's the truth.

Dawn narrows her eyes and looks disgusted and Faith looks flattered. Faith, as a matter of fact, looks vaguely fascinated by the idea. Of course. Wes straightens up again just in time for Lilah to stomp on his foot and make him yelp in a completely girly manner.

"You two are messed up," Dawn scolds nervously. "Buffy and Spike level messed up. We totally would have said no, anyway. That's a pervy thing to be thinking about, let alone playing weird sexual mind games over. Were you guys seriously..."

"Oh, they were seriously, Dawniekins," Faith says, grinning. "But Spike and Buffy wish they had the amount of sheer evil heat these two generate just out of boredom."

This promises to be boring. Lilah's heard the insults, and the only one who ever came close to being good at this was Cordelia, and neither Dawn nor Faith is going to scratch the surface.

"And yet you admit it's heat," Wes says, choosing the opportune moment to show off that there's a reason why Lilah stays around despite the constant lapses in human behavior. "In any case, Lilah and I were leaving. Faith. Dawn. My apologies for the awkwardness, though I must admit you both looked lovely out there."

His grip on Lilah's hand indicates that they are, in fact, leaving, so Lilah shrugs diffidently to keep up appearance and waves good-bye as Wesley drags her away to the slightly offended glowers of both Faith and Dawn.

He doesn't let go until they're outside of the line-around-the-building nightclub, and by this point Lilah is laughing and trying to pull away, but Wes is inexorable.

"Let go, Wesley. You're not my bodyguard," Lilah finally says. Instead, Wes pulls her in and favors her with one of those kisses that belong in black and white movies, complete with the dipping and the appreciative squeal from Lilah. "Okay, that was unexpected. What's with the romanticism, lover?"

"Did I pass?" Wesley asks. He's still fairly sure it's a test, and if it is, he thinks he's passed with flying colors, not that he needed the testing.

"What? I told you, no tests," Lilah replies, a little baffled. "I didn't set this up, Wesley. They just happened to be there. Call it serendipity that I saw them first. I was simply curious what you'd answer."

Wes favors his lover with a skeptical look. She passes the scan, and Wesley raises an eyebrow. "So I could have taken one of them home?" he asks slyly as they wait for the light to change so they can cross the relatively deserted street. "Faith looked intrigued..."

Lilah doesn't pause. "Only if you wanted to wake up a eunuch, Pryce."

"That would be a no, then," Wes says, finding himself immeasurably pleased at her declaration of violence.

Without saying a word, Lilah squeezes his hand and puts her head on his shoulder as they lurch toward the car. He thinks that perhaps, despite all the beautiful young things who dance with each other for attention...or not...he's got the better deal.


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