Lilah and Xander vs. The Zombie Gods of Redding
Spoilers: Chosen; Lineage
Note: written for bethanymindseye for the Lilahficathon. Thanks to Kate for the beta.
Disclaimer: Joss, not me.
Summary: An amusing adventure featuring Mistress Lilah Morgan and Master Xander Harris trapped in an attic, forced to call upon the gods and mock Angel something fierce.
“This is all your fault, you know,” Lilah Morgan told Xander Harris one surprisingly sunny Wednesday afternoon as she jiggled the doorknob for the twenty-eighth time, hoping against hope that this time, the door would come unlocked. “Couldn’t you see that we were about to be…oops. I forgot.”
She put one hand over her eye with a smirk, other hand still firmly on the stubborn doorknob. “Yarr,” she said. “I guess blindness should be familiar territory to you.”
“Wow, Angel was right,” Xander snarked back, not about to be outdone by the Headless Hell-Lawyer and her bag o’ snide comments. “It’s like they cloned Cordy, tripled the bitchy tramp aspects, and then took away all of the tact. Plus, there’s that whole Wes-stalking business, all of which make you not only evil, but pathetic.”
Lilah smiled one of her extra-petty smiles. “Oh, I am slain by your wit!” she said, slumping down on the floor with a spectacular roll of her eyes. “No, wait. No, I’m not, because I’m dead and you’re only funny in a self-loathing kind of way, One-Eyed Man.”
Xander refused to rise to the bait, instead starting to pry at the window bars again with the one fork that had been in the room when the door had swung shut and locked them in. “At least I’m thinking of ways to escape a hideous doom, Ms. Jiggle-the-Magic-Lock-Open.”
“Yes, because we’d survive the four story drop from the attic to the ground, Captain Courageous,” Lilah retorted. “Oh, well. At least I’m already technically dead.”
“And I’m sure that’ll stop the crazy voodoo people from chopping you into tiny, itty-bitty technically dead pieces, Lilah,” Xander said, tossing the fork to the floor and joining it despondently. Ever since the Hellmouth sucked Sunnydale and Anya into the great beyond, he’d been living a fairly calm, if somewhat abnormal, life. Sure, his depth perception was wrecked, but he was a fairly good big brother to the Western States division of the Watchers’ Council, finding and briefing girls about their new destinies while making a decent salary.
Then he’d gotten the phone call from Wolfram and Hart, Los Angeles that they’d located another girl, but that she was rather unusual, and could they send one of their own operatives to join him? Xander, who was usually leery of Angel’s evil lawyer minions, had said yes only after Buffy told him that he had to play nice, and before he could say three words, he’d found himself joined by yet another Wesley ex with great legs, perky boobs, and unreal fashion sense.
He had to give the man his props: Wesley had an eye for hot women. Most of them happened to be bitchy, but that was apparently part of the charm. Of course, it would have been nice if Wesley’s evil ex had briefed Xander with the information that the reason they’d sent in Lilah was because the Slayer was being held against her will by Haitian voodoo practitioners, and because Lilah was dead, she had access to the Aztec magicks of Mictlan that would overcome the juju on the girl.
Of course, in the resulting ambush, they’d lost their weapons and phones, and the leader of the little group had warned Lilah as the door swung shut, “Baron Samedi doesn’t like uppity zombies in his kay, bel madam. Watch those calls to Mictlan don’t call up some other Hell.” Xander hadn’t quite gotten what that implied until Lilah explained in the smallest and most patronizing words possible that if she tried to call up her connections in Mictlan, the wires would get crossed and they’d die sooner rather than later.
“So what? We just sit here and wait to die?” Xander had asked, looking around the small attic room with the sloping roof and stinking floorboards. The only things in the room were a mattress, a cup, bowl, and fork, and a set of chains.
“Got a better plan?” Lilah had asked acidly, fussing with the doorknob.
Two hours later, Xander had to admit that not only did he not have a plan, there wasn’t even the inklings of a beginning of a plan besides hoping that Angel and company would realize that hours without phone contact from Lilah was a warning in and of itself and come charging in at just the right moment. Other than that, he could look forward to a few more hours of trading insults with the evil lawyer before he was turned into a zombie slave for a wacky voodoo clan that inhabited a four-story Victorian in Redding, California.
“So I’ve got nothing,” he said, noticing that Lilah didn’t seem any more inspired than he was in the plan department. “You think Angel’ll come save us from a hideous fate?”
Lilah yanked down her scarf to show off her gruesome and perpetually irritated beheading scar. “In time?” she asked, tapping a manicured fingernail against her throat significantly.
Point. “So we’re going to die,” Xander said. Lilah looked a little surprised. “Angel doesn’t like me very much, either.”
“That’s because Angel’s a self-obsessed jerk who doesn’t have time to give a damn about anyone besides himself, his hair, and his current blonde,” Lilah replied with a lopsided grin. To her surprise, Xander not only returned the grin, he laughed.
“So not everyone loves the Broodmaster at Wolfram and Hart?” Xander asked. “But I thought he was the brave new champion for the millennium!”
Out of nowhere, Lilah started shrieking with laughter, beating on her thigh with her fist for a good minute. “Oh! My! God!” she announced, and Xander noticed that with a smile on her face, she wasn’t just hot in that evil femme fatale way, she was downright cute. A little Dawnish in her cuteness, even. “That campaign! I hated that damn campaign. Lorne worked for six months to teach Angel to smile like he didn’t have gas, and then the day before the big roll-out of Angel’s pr campaign, Harmony switched him to cow blood. Some accursed rogue peppered it with a magical herb that made him swell up like a blueberry. We never did find out whom, but oh, that rogue got herself cursed roundly.”
Xander’s eyes widened as he imagined the fallout from that stunt. Also, he wished there were photographs, or that possibly, he could have been there to both point and laugh. “You have no shame,” he said. “So what, he was the bloated new champion for the law firm’s millennium?”
“It was almost better than sex,” Lilah replied dreamily, apparently trying hard not to laugh because her lips were being held mighty tight in a half-pout, half-smile. It was downright adorable, and Xander had to say, anyone who hated Angel for petty reasons was already pretty high in his books. “Hey, Xander?”
“Yeah?” he asked, noticing that there was the thin horizon of a plan in Lilah’s greenish eyes.
“I suck at magic, as I imagine you do,” she said conversationally, and as far as apropos of nothing, that was taking the ice-cream cake. “You ever bluff a god?”
“One time,” Xander said, remembering Glory and one glorified bowler having his day. “You heard what Buffy and friends did to Glorificus, right?”
Lilah nodded. “I did,” she said, a feline smile playing across her face. The woman had a lot of smiles stored up, it seemed, and each one made Xander a little more interested in what thoughts were going on inside her head, something that he hadn’t felt since Anya had died. “Hmm. I think I have a plan.”
Which was silly, because Lilah was just as dead as Anya, and in love with Wesley and a strange and dangerous woman that everyone Xander knew had a horror story about, and here he was, thinking she was pretty. She was pretty. Maybe pretty like poisonous flowers and vampire women were pretty, but Xander had Lilah and his plan-free brain between himself and zombification, so he was going to bet on the brunette with the naughty sparkle in her eyes.
“What do we do?” Xander asked.
“First, we have lots of noisy sex,” Lilah said, unbuttoning her blouse nonchalantly. “Nothing gods and demons — and hey, everyone else — love more than kinky undead-living sex. Then we do what I should have done before walking into the Redding Chainsaw Massacre.”
Xander, gobsmacked beyond the usual, watched as Lilah let the blouse drop, baring sexy shoulders and a perfect torso, except for the small red scar in her side. Her white lace bra should have looked more innocent, but on her, it looked as naughty as any red or black number Frederick’s of Hollywood could dream up.
“What’s that?” he managed to ask, swallowing.
“I use my bad reputation to further the cause, of course,” Lilah said, taking off her bra. “Are you going to help me?”
It wasn’t the first or last time Xander would be asked to do something unusual to fight for the forces of truth, justice, and the Slayer way, he thought, crossing the room in two steps, but it was definitely going to be one of the sexier ones.
“I’ll do whatever it takes,” he said, helping Lilah get them both considerably more naked.
“I bet,” Lilah said wryly, pulling him toward the mattress. “Come on, lover-boy. Let’s call a few gods.”
* * *
The moon was full, the extraction team Wesley and Angel (along with the men themselves) had put together to save Xander, Lilah, and Maryse the Vampire Slayer were sitting on Maman Marie’s porch drinking chokola cho, and Xander couldn’t help but keep looking at their unlikely savior in high heels. She was applying a fresh coat of lipstick and smiling breezily at Angel, composure and clothing smooth as silk.
“Baron Samedi is a charming man,” she said, looking over at Xander and winking. “Honestly, when he heard who I was and who I worked for, the entire situation changed, and now that Maman Marie understands that Maryse isn’t possessed by an unruly loa, she’s more than excited to let the Slayers train her. No need to get involved with the Aztec pantheon at all, which is quite a relief because their interest rates are ungodly and sometimes they eat their clients.”
Wes, looking more proprietary than someone who wasn’t actually dating Lilah should, leaned against the porch and raised a skeptical eyebrow. “Still, for two people with no training in drawing the loa, it must have taken quite a spectacle to bring Baron Samedi himself, and you behave as though…”
Lilah fixed Wesley with a look that said everything she needed to say without even touching her scarf. “You were saying?” she asked sweetly.
“Good work,” Wes said, swallowing hard.
“Thank you,” Lilah replied. “If it weren’t for Xander here, I would have been utterly lost. He was all the partner a girl could ask for.”
“I’m sure,” Angel said, sounding not at all sure, the jerk. Lilah shook her head and mouthed ‘Broodmaster General’ to Xander, who started to laugh at Sir Hairloaf right on cue. “What?”
“Oh, Angel,” Lilah said, starting to laugh. “We’re not laughing with you. Come on, Xander, I want to thank you properly.”
With that, she dragged him around the corner, both of them still laughing at Angel’s intense self-unawareness when Lilah put her hand directly on Xander’s chest and pushed him against the house.
“Does thank me properly mean sex?” Xander asked. “Because I don’t think I can tonight.”
“No,” Lilah said with a genuine smile, tossing her head. “It means thank you, Xander. You did a great job being very enthusiastic about what could have been an awkward situation. I appreciate that. And I hope it was…less ooky than expected.”
“Wow,” Xander said. “First time I’ve been thanked for having great sex with a beautiful woman who then saved my life by bluffing a voodoo god or six. Can that happen again?”
Lilah chuckled. “Thank you,” she whispered, leaning in and kissing Xander on the corner of the mouth and tucking something into his jeans pocket. “Here’s my card. The next time you’re in LA, give me a call. We can get our petty on and torment Angel. Maybe see a movie.”
With that, Lilah pulled away and walked back toward Angel and his people. Xander, coughing, stared up at the moon, blinking.
He couldn’t go back to the group until the grin was gone, and given what had just gone down, Xander was pretty sure he’d be grinning for a week.
“Yeah,” he said to the moon, shaking his head. “Evil Dead 2 okay?”