TITLE: And Flames Are Never Doused Completely
AUTHOR: hold_that_thought
SUMMARY: "Lilah was right when she told Wesley that flames don't consume."
SPOILERS: Through Angel Season 4
FEEDBACK: Totally welcome (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: When little_bit tells you to do something, you do it. Unless you don't. Regardless, thanks to 'bit for inspiring, enouraging, strongarming, and betaing this fic. And thanks to fenwic, just because. (Completed 5/8/03)

The moth don't care if the flame burns low,
'Cause moth believes in an afterglow.
And flames are never doused completely,
All you really need is a love of heat.
No, the moth don't care if the flame burns low.
- Aimee Mann, "The Moth"

Lilah was right when she told Wesley that flames don't consume. If they did, he would have been seared to a hollow shell the second he took her in his arms again. Angel was still in Sunnydale and Wesley was just starting to adjust to the new routine at Wolfram and Hart when she came to see him. Didn't bother knocking, just unlocked his apartment door, pushed it open, and smiled at Wesley, dangling a set of keys in the air.

"Another perk of Wolfram and Hart, you'll find, is the remarkable ability to procure keys to anything, anytime."

"That might have come in handy last year when you ran off to a business meeting and left me handcuffed to the bed for two hours."

"I more than made it up to you, if I recall correctly." She smirked and unzipped her crisp linen dress—high necked, of course—letting it slide to the floor.

Wesley found himself transfixed by the scar running across her neck. His scar. He gave it to her, one of a pair, his and hers born solely from his mistakes. Wordlessly, he walked over to the small dresser drawer that he hadn't opened in months, pushed aside the bottle of perfume she'd left as his apartment, a pair of panties, some letters—always from her, never from him. Together over six months and he'd never written her a letter or note. He finally found what he was looking for—a long red scarf she'd used to blindfold him months before.

Lilah didn't flinch when he approached her with it, just arched an eyebrow in typical Lilah fashion. "Mm. Kinky."

He didn't reply. Winding the silk around her neck, gently, carefully...last time they'd been together, he would have thrown her on the bed, nearly choked her with her own scarf, and she would have laughed. This time, he just stared into her eyes while he wound the cover around her neck.

"I know what you're doing." She pushed him away slightly, took the end of the scarf from his hands to finish the job herself. "I wouldn't want to look at it either. Never thought I'd envy vamps with their no-reflection deal...."

"It's not that." Wesley grabbed her by the waist and pulled her towards him, running his hands up her back, over the scarf, through her hair. "I just had to make sure your head was fully secured to your body." He grinned.

Then he was kissing her. Pulling his shirt off, pants off, skimming his hands across her body, nibbling at her ear and inhaling her sweat and perfume and shampoo....

But most importantly, kissing her. Not just letting himself be kissed. Kissing Lilah and letting her fire—that even his litany of mistakes couldn't douse—roll over him. Lilah pulled away and flashed him a wicked, playful grin before leading him into the bedroom. Wesley hoped that he'd prove her wrong about fire not consuming.