Disclaimer: I don't own House and company – they belong to David Shore and company. I don't own Lilah, Wolfram and Hart and all that Jazz – they belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy.


"I know how it feels…" A sultry voice from beside him at the bar echoed in his ears. He turned towards her and gave her a look that clearly told her to butt out, before he turned back to his Maker's Mark.

It was clear he didn't want to talk. Lilah would have normally respected that – but she was bored to death – well beyond death really since she was already dead, having been summoned up from the Head Office to go to this White Hat fundraiser. Obviously punishment for yet some other imagined offense against the Senior Partners. She ran a hand down her dress, and picked up her own whiskey. "To not be good enough. To be judged lacking in some dreary moral landscape as the one who can not be trusted. The black hat. No matter how much you … care."

House turned slowly; ready to send the woman skittering away from him with a neatly placed acerbic remark so he could go back to torturing himself, watching Lucas and Cuddy dance. He reconsidered when he got a good look at her. She filled out her dress nearly as well as Cuddy did, but she was much taller and had the look of a super model. Her green eyes studied him from beneath the reddish brown bangs that fell stylishly across her face. She reminded him of Stacy in a lot of ways, which was both a blessing and a curse – he'd bet she was a lawyer. Just the way she was sizing him up.. "And how would you know about that?" He said pointedly, not quite willing to give up his annoyance with her. "Guys don't care about that kind of crap – at least not when they get to bed someone who looks like you."

"You'd be surprised…" Lilah felt a flutter in her cold dead heart almost as though it was beating again. His eyes; god, he had to be related to the Pryce's somehow. His eyes were so much like her long departed Wesley's. "See with a woman it's worse. We're the ones men screw, but they never get serious about. The ones they feel guilty because they used, but it doesn't change the fact that we're not the girl next door. Not the innocent…" The bitterness rose until she could almost taste it, and she picked up her whiskey, shooting back the last of it and washed it down once more with the alcoholic fire of her drink. "And it wasn't as though I minded that, until I forgot not to care."

House signaled the bartender for another drink for her and was somewhat impressed when he poured her another two fingers of Maker's Mark. "I was never one for frou-frou drinks." She said evenly as she nodded to him in thanks.

"I used to be good at not caring…" House admitted figuring his next statement would scare her off – or prove that she was as interesting as she seemed. "Then I had to detox so I wouldn't hallucinate any more…"

Lilah chuckled darkly, not bothered in the least. "Let me guess. You started to change, and you thought you might get a look in." She looked towards the dark haired woman that he'd been watching. "It doesn't work like that Cowboy. It doesn't matter how much white you add back in, you're never going to get anything but grey…" She paused and met his intense blue gaze. "… and some people can't see the shades."

"Yeah…" House agreed. "So you want to go somewhere more interesting?" He turned his back to the dancing couple and focused completely on her.

There was silence as she considered it. "Just don't get attached, Cowboy. I can give you a good time, not a long time. Sort of like Cinderella and the Pumpkin." Except in this case, the spell that gave her the illusion of life would dissipate and she'd be back to being a cold, animate corpse with a soul trapped in it. Not to mention a head that had the frightening tendency to detach thanks to her last blue eyed lover.

"Not looking for more than that…" House drawled. It wasn't exactly true, but he had to start convincing himself it was again – it wasn't as though he had any options left. He stood and offered her his arm, half wishing Cuddy would look – but fearing that instead of looking jealous that she'd smile encouragingly like she had when Cameron had forced him to go out with her.

Thankfully (and how he hated it) Cuddy was far too involved with Lucas to even notice the tall figures leaving for a night of cold comfort with one another.