Title: In Good Company
Author : hold_that_thought
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 they'd 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 Partners' plans. But they hadn't counted on Angel giving up the amulet. Hell, she'd 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 wouldn't have been such a bad runner-up if he hadn't turned out to be a fucking white hat with or without a soul. The little freak even continued to eat pig's 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 hadn't had her transferred back to Hell when she wasn't looking.

Lilah sighed and bent down to retrieve the pen. It wasn't 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 didn't 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 wasn't plotting against him.

Like she'd be dumb enough to get caught.

"Yes?"

"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 I'm quite the looker. I'd 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. She'd been hoping he'd 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. She'd been hoping she could intimidate him. It had been months since she'd intimidated anyone who wasn't 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 yesterday's clothes.

Oh well, it'd 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. It's 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 don't 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."

"None."

Lilah arched an eyebrow. "Nothing?"

"Nothing."

"That's unusual." She scribbled some notes on the form. "We've never actually resurrected anyone who wasn't sent to hell. Unless this means Darla went to heaven, since she didn't 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. Don't worry, as long as Angel's in charge, I'm 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 number's in the Rolodex marked 'Slayers,' 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.

"Huh."

"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. Angel's got this insane problem with evil dating his loved ones. Bastard probably would have tried the whammy on Wesley if I didn't have some dirt to hang over his head."

"Oh, and what's that?"

"Sorry, you know how it goes, secrets are only worthwhile before you share them."

"Whatever. She's probably better off anyway." Lilah snorted, and Spike looked at her askance. "What?"

"It's just funny. You don't 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 can't 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 they'd bank on something a little more...tactile...considering they misplaced their boss's a couple months ago."

"Wait a minute," Spike said, leaning forward. "You telling me Angelus—"

Lilah nodded. "Footloose and fancy free for a couple weeks. That's 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 didn't?"

"Nope."

Raising an eyebrow, Spike let out a low whistle. "Grandsire's 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 wouldn't 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 Spike's amused smile, and the vampire sighed. "Buffy chose me to wear it."

"But she didn't force you?"

"No."

"Okay." Lilah pushed the form across the desk. "I just need your signature here. It's 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. I'd be more than happy to pass on a message for you."

"And what's 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, it's just a relief to have at least one person who isn't 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, I've seen the way your white hat looks at you."

"Like I'm a good fuck dead or alive?" Lilah smirked.

"No, that's an entirely different look, believe me. You can just ask Harmony, I'm sure Angel's got a file on her."

"Two, actually."

"Don't suppose you saw anything about me in there?"

She smiled, shrugged, and took another sip of water. "Can't remember. Anyway, I do want to finish this paperwork sometime before I die again."

"Got it." Spike checked his watch. "Hey, when's your lunch break? There's this bar up the street, only one in this fucking town that serves Bloomin' Onions, and they got Passions on the telly every day at two."

"Sorry, I've been a One Life to Live girl since the 80s."

"We'll see about that. Pick you up at one. Maybe I'll tell you 'bout the time Angelus got possessed by a girl ghost. Now there's 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 she'd actually felt attracted to Angel, so of course it turned out he'd 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.