by Jennifer-Oksana

Sometimes, Fred wonders how she gets into these situations. For all that working out of the Hyperion was weird, working at Wolfram and Hart is a thousand times weirder.

"Have you ever been truly frustrated?" Lilah asks, her eyes unnaturally bright and green as they stare down at Fred, and her lips wet with gloss. "Thinking about it day and night, about how good it would feel to have a hard cock in you so deep that--well. That isn't your thing, is it, sweetie?"

Fred notices there is a glass of scotch, still full, an open bottle of pills, and what looks like ten or fifteen chocolate wrappers littering Lilah's desk. Ghirardelli's. Milk Chocolate with Caramel Filling. She can spot a sex substitute from a mile away, and none of 'em are apparently working. Lilah is slumped in the chair, makeup heavy and smeared, but not heavy enough to hide that unnatural gleam, the waxiness of her skin.

(she's DEAD, silly. of course she's looking unnatural.)

"What did you just say?" Fred says, her brain suddenly processing the vulgarity along with the visuals. "Excuse me?"

Lilah's tongue doesn't look wet. It flicks the tip of her lip defiantly, but it looks dry. Maybe that's why she's always asking for damn ice water.

"Come on, I know that you don't like it," she says with that low, suggestive undertone, the derisive laughter almost there. "If you did, you would have fucked Wesley by now. Maybe just once, but you would have fucked him. To feel what it was like to have him take his time. And he wanted you SO badly."

Her eyes are half-closed when she says this, those long, elegant fingers lightly clutching the glass of scotch. Fred imagines she's picturing it in her head, Wesley and Fred. Or maybe her and Wesley. Fred doesn't really want to get too deep into Lilah's fucked-up little fantasy world. Because it's wrong, and kinda icky.

"Shut your mouth, Lilah," Fred says. "Don't you have any decency?"

"Not particularly," Lilah replies, her shoulders bare and white and beautiful yet, especially against the thin black straps of her tank top. "You wouldn't either, if you were me. Seeing him every day and wanting so badly just to kiss him and knowing, KNOWING that if you do, he'll shiver. Won't mean to, won't want to, but my lips are cold. And dry. It'd be like kissing an ashtray. Hell, sweetheart, I don't even want to touch myself."

And Fred knows exactly what kind of touching Lilah means, and it rips away ALL the sympathy Lilah had going with her speech about her sweet and tender desires just to kiss her beloved one last time. Because Fred's not, despite the rumors, completely naive. She knows that the second Wesley touches Evil Miss Thing, he'll be gone, kisses turning into bites turning into nibbles against bare skin turning into two days of fucking. And Lilah knows it, too.

And now Lilah has put the image of naked, frustrated Lilah into Fred's brain, space Fred could have used for something useful, like the words to the Goldfish jingle, or maybe another six digits of pi.

Instead, Lilah's in her head. Topless Lilah is in her head, her nipples hard and pointed towards heaven. Looking up at Fred from Fred's couch, stripped except for a red scarf and a pair of black silk panties. Exposed and wanting (wanton) in the way she's staring at Fred. And she's wearing too much lipstick. Dark red and oh, Fred really wishes that Lilah would shut up just once, understands suddenly the desire to put hands on that throat, or mouth on that mouth, just to drown out the endless fucking words and...

"Thanks so much for sharing," Fred finally manages to stutter out.

"It's ruining my fucking afterlife," Lilah replies, clearly oblivious to Fred's discomfort, or probably finding it more satisfying than chocolate and scotch. "If I could just get off, it'd be all right. But while the spirit is willing, and ready, and fucking wet for it, the flesh is--"

"Not?" Fred guesses. "Well, that's deeply fascinating. I might write a paper. The sexual impulses and proclivities of the reanimated corpse. I'm sure it would make quite the ripple in the medical community."

Lilah's eyes go dark, and she slumps down further in her chair, spreading her legs provocatively and looking at Fred with what can only be called predatory impulses.

"You wanna do some research?" Lilah asks and oh, the bitch thinks she's gonna win, because no one would want to touch the corpse. But Fred's thought about this. Has kissed Angel, and sure, it's a different kind of dead, but it looks like the same body temperature, the same lack of heartbeat. She's not a zombie, or a golem, or any of the icky undead.

Simply put, Lilah is what the undead look like without superpowers and healing abilities. Fred can handle it. She's seen worse.

Fred walks up to Lilah, sneer and all on that pretty, pretty face. Leans down and eases down the straps on the tank top. Wets her lips and presses them against Lilah's collarbone. She's not warm, but she's warmer than Angel. And she still smells human, like Chanel and vanilla body wash and caramel and frustration.

"You think you've got my number," Fred says. "You don't know the first thing about me."

"I knew you didn't like cock before you did," Lilah replies, but there's a weird flicker in her eyes, like she's surprised that Fred would touch her. And Fred realizes that no one else has. That they've actively avoided touching dead Lilah, as if she were infected with something. "What? That's thing one."

"So you don't know thing two," Fred replies, climbing on top of Lilah's lap and willing herself not to freak out, because she's managed to slow down the ever-living flow of poisonous words from Lilah's big fat yap and she's not that dead. Talk, talk, talk. Lilah makes Willow look laconic. "You're so scared of being dead you don't even know if you can get yourself off. So all you do is talk about it and try to put everyone else off. That's sad."

Fred isn't quite sure how they've moved from insults to Fred grinding herself into Lilah, but she's certain it has to do with special evil bitch powers that have survived death.

"Well, look at you," Lilah catcalls in a low voice, heavy-lidded eyes protecting anything resembling an honest thought from Fred. "Do you want to play doctor, little girl? I'll show you mine if you show me yours."

"You're disgusting," Fred says, pulling off the tank top to run her thumbs over Lilah's breasts. They feel like breasts. Firmer than hers, but other than that, normal. And they react like normal breasts when they're fondled, too.

"Yeah, but I'm not the one dry-humping the dead," Lilah answers, her hands still not moving, though Fred can tell she wants to, she wants to show off to Fred just how good she is and Fred's not.

Fred leans in and kisses Lilah, half-naked Lilah in whose lap she is writhing, and after the initial shock of realizing that Lilah doesn't actually breathe, it's like kissing. Well, nobody else, because Fred has never kissed a woman before. It's different. And Lilah is as good as advertised, once the initial hesitation is overcome, because her cold dead hands are on the back of Fred's head, pulling her closer, that dry tongue getting wet pretty fast as it explores Fred's mouth.

This could be much worse, Fred realizes as she rocks back and forth. There's something so nice about not feeling it (why think of cock when you don't have to?) squirm under her when she does this, about the way breasts look on someone underneath you, about feeling someone moan into your mouth when you touch them. She likes it. Enough to want to try it somewhere else. Somewhere not wired.

So Fred pulls away. Lilah blinks, looks surprised, then disappointed, then pissed.

"Told you," she says.

"Don't be stupid," Fred replies. "If I'm gonna do it properly, I'm not going to do it for the cameras."

Fred stands up and straightens her clothes. Lilah's mouth is a little open and the gloss is all smeared. Then she pulls it together and nods slightly.

"Well, what do you know?" Lilah says, more to herself than to Fred as she pulls up her top. "Twig's got guts."

"Thing two," Fred replies with a grin. Lilah takes a moment to get the joke, and then nods, looking bemused and amused as they watch her smooth herself out, pull on a jacket, look moderately presentable for the crowd. But before they leave, Lilah (of course) has one last smart comment. She brushes by Fred, the weave of the jacket ticklish against Fred's arm.

"Can't wait to find out thing three," she murmurs with a wicked grin. "Just how loud you scream."

Fred almost takes offense, but instead, decides to take it as a compliment. They walk out, not touching, not speaking, and mutually scheming. Fred's almost impressed.

It's good to see Lilah's got a research ethic, after all.


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