Deconstruction By Costume Party
by Jennifer-Oksana


Angel handed Lilah twenty bucks when she and Fred tumbled out of the elevator, their elaborate hairdos slightly mussed and a blush trying to cool itself on Fred's face and chest, which intensified to a ruby when she saw Angel's cool expression.

"Why are you giving Lilah money? Was there a bet? Was I a bet?" Fred asked, panicked by the smirk on Lilah's face. Sure she wasn't technically evil anymore; sure, she'd braved the wrath of several deities to walk out of hell a living woman; sure, she had actually given them the information that had allowed them to make Wolfram and Hart less an evil law firm and more an agency devoted to taking down the Authority (formerly the Partners and the Powers) in all its insidious power. But still. Once an evil lawyer bitch, always naughty around the edges.

Lilah chuckled. "There was a bet, but you, pretty thing, had very little to do with it," she said. "First of all, I bet Angel a Halloween party as planned and executed by me would raise half a million dollars and be the best party in California. Second of all, I bet him Wes wouldn't find love on the elevator."

Fred tried to be outraged, but had to giggle. "You rule him so very, very much," she said, cracking a whip. "Which should be evil and horrible and wrong, but..."

"He rules me so very much that it's kind of fun when we team up and remind him who's in charge?" Lilah asked cheerfully, adjusting her top to show off her breasts. "Don't worry, Fred. At the end of the day, we come out equal."

Angel shook his head. "I'm not getting involved," he said, withdrawing. "I have to go and...schmooze." He said the word like he was being asked to sing, or perhaps go to the symphony with Spike. "I'll see you both later."

"Not bloody likely," Lilah said, turning her attention to the man singing for a crowd of guests. "Hey. We've been here two minutes and all eyes are not on us. I think that's wrong."

"Justin Timberlake is on stage," Fred pointed out, putting her arm shyly around Lilah's unnaturally small waist. "How did you get him for the party, anyway?"

The evil cackle that came forth convinced Fred she didn't want to know just how Lilah had made Mr. JT come to Los Angeles to sing a few songs for demons, humans, celebrities, and other assorted peoples. Instead she let Lilah lead them through a crowd with a brassy smile on her face.

"Now who the hell are you two supposed to be?" Spike asked, clearly disgusted by the swooning not for him. "Besides titillation, of course."

"I forget what we decided. You're Britney and I'm Christina, right?" Fred asked, feeling completely embarrassed. This had been such a bad idea, even if it had been fun to watch everyone ogle.

"You're Britney and I'm Madonna," Lilah said, amused by Fred's sudden fit of shame. "Remember?"

Fred grinned. "Oh, that's right. I'm Southern, thus, Britney. Also, I think there might be a little bit of a I'm the queen bitch issue going on, but you know, I can deal because I'm hot and younger. Besides, our costumes are less horrible than Wesley's."

Spike smirked appreciatively. "So you two mad bints are the reason he's dressed like a goth boy looking for someone to hurt him?" he asked. "Must say, he's bloody hot in the collar and chain and black lipstick, but he's taking it poorly. Thinks you two are making fun of him."

Lilah straightened up in mock offense. "We are doing no such thing. Mr. Wyndam-Pryce is well aware that he is being punished for crimes against both myself and Miss Burkle," she said in her grandest, of course I haven't had three martinis already, voice. "Don't you have a Summers to stalk or something?"

Spike thumbed at the gaggle of girls crowded in front of the stage. "They're all trying to get Justin to look down their shirts or some such rot," he muttered. "Did you really deflower him, or is that an ugly urban legend Lorne's started because your shindig beats his hollow?"

"I'll never tell," Lilah said coyly, noticing Wesley out of the corner of her eye and dragging Fred away without even a good-bye. Wes, for his part, was carrying two drinks, which meant he already knew he was in trouble.

"You slept with him?"

"Because Cameron and Janet weren't a dead giveaway that JT likes his older? Serious, serious Oedipal issues," Lilah said, smoothly snatching the appletini from Wes. "How's my boy?"

"Ridiculously embarrassed," Wes said, glowering at his leather pants. "Must I really be forced to trot around like a slave for your amusement? The collar, at least..."

"Keep. It. On," Lilah growled in a way that made Fred's smile come back and her eyes light up. Oh, yeah. This was why she'd agreed to Plan Very Bad Idea. Sexiness galore, and a way to let Wes know why she was never ever going to really sleep with him. Not only was he Lilah's anyway, not only was Fred recently gay and excited to be a lesbian-type gay girl, but also because Wes was a bad, bad boy, and he needed to realize that he had to be more respectful.

Yes, respectful.

"Right, then," he said, eyes crossing to Fred to see if she was any more sympathetic. "Ladies, what can I do to make your evening more pleasant?"

Fred grinned. "I think you're wearing too many clothes," she said, swigging at her pear cider boldly. "Off with that shirt."

Wesley goggled at Fred, who was looking anything but sweet and innocent as she put her head on Lilah's shoulder and snuggled closer. Well, that was the point, wasn't it? Just because Wes had a madonna/whore complex something fierce didn't mean that Fred didn't get to enjoy the Chanel-and-sex smell of Lilah's shoulder, OR the suspicious bulge in Wesley's leather pants when Lilah yanked Wesley's chain so that he was on his knees taking off his shirt.

"Mmm," Lilah said, stroking Fred's back with what qualified as lecherous intent. "You look so nice on your knees, Wes. We might have to keep you that way all night. What do you think, Fred?"

"Sounds plan-like," Fred said, her hand straying to Lilah's hip as they both started to laugh.

"This is one crazy-ass Halloween party!" Fred heard someone -- it kind of looked like Lance Bass and Paris Hilton -- exclaim as Lilah took Wesley's shirt and gave it to Fred.

"Just wait," Lilah purred into Fred's ear, clearly enjoying Wesley's torment. "The after-party is going to be the real kicker."

Of that, Fred had no doubt.


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