Head Full of Noise
by Jennifer-Oksana (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Spoilers: Shells, latest Alias Ep.
Disclaimer: Joss Whedon and co for Angel the Series and Lilah Morgan; JJ Abrams and Bad Robot for Lauren Reed, Irina Derevko, and Alias. Filter/Crystal Method for the song lyrics and title.
Summary: Lilah learns her lesson when it comes to power, sex, and mercy.
"I've got the acumen of a seasoned pro
I've got the legacy of a billion souls
I've got the world down my back, but I don't seem to care
I've got the comprehension of a world unaware" -- Filter with Crystal Method
(now. right fucking now.)
Sex with Lilah is
...like a car crash (Lauren thrashing at the thought of it, speed and impact and the flash-bright climax of the crunch, her body drenched in sweat as her fingers twist in Lilah's dark hair and that tongue keeps flicking away at her clit)
...a game to be won (Lilah's appreciative gasp as Lauren bites down on her nipple, the vibrator slapping between their bodies and the neon sparkle-glare of Vegas below them as they fuck in a penthouse at the Bellagio, curtains open and stereo system blaring mid-90s pop-riot-grrl music)
...better than the look on Sark's face when she pumped two bullets into his gut (Lauren braced against the door, begging Lilah to never stop fucking her as her knees beg to buckle and drag them both to the floor, even though being naked and exposed to an entire city is just making Lauren hotter...)
...the symbolic death everyone's told Lauren sex represents (Lilah screams, grinding her body against Lauren's mouth. Lilah screams and it's enough to get Lauren off again as both of them collapse, breathless, against cold white hotel sheets and can't find the energy to keep going)
"So we're partners?" Lilah asks when she catches her breath, leaning over and kissing Lauren on the forehead with affectionate verve.
"Most certainly," Lauren agrees, thinking that she'll be able to persuade Lilah into a shower in five minutes and continue the revelry. "To our unholy alliance."
Lilah laughs, falls back against the mattress, and stares at the ceiling. "Lauren, babe, this is by far the least unholy of my alliances," she says. "But I think it might be the most fun."
* * *
(years ago. back in the day.)
Irina Derevko is the mother Lilah Morgan always wanted, sexy, cool, dangerous and fully cognizant of the ways of the world. Not like Stella Morgan, whose memories are no more stable than the San Andreas Fault. If Lilah and Irina were to go out in public, people would think they were related. This wouldn't bother Lilah in the least.
"You understand the risks of being my attorney, Miss Morgan, don't you?" Irina asks, the faintest trace of a Russian accent still in her voice. Lilah nods (she's read all the non-disclosure statements and contracts, et cetera ad infinitum) and wonders what Irina's daughter thinks of her. Irina's daughter is as motherless as Stella's; maybe Sydney Bristow would accept Lilah's mother if Lilah accepted Irina.
"Yes, I do," Lilah says, eyes sparkling. She is twenty-four years old, sweet, ambitious, brilliant and beautiful; jaded old boy lawyers stop to watch her walk through Wolfram and Hart and discreetly adjust themselves. Irina Derevko is not immune to the wicked charm, it appears. She is watching Lilah with an interest that is in no way motherly. "I'm looking forward to the opportunity to be of service, Ms. Derevko."
Irina is ice-cold when she smiles at Lilah, and that sets off a little quiver in Lilah's stomach. Irina is the goddess Lilah wants to be when she thinks about her future at three in the morning, trying to reach the orgasm that'll let her sleep. One does not imagine betraying Irina Derevko. There's only death in that thought, and the promise of working for Irina is too good to filthy with betrayal.
"I'm certain you will, Miss Morgan," Irina replies, looking over the contracts. "Your masters at Wolfram and Hart may not be best pleased at your extra-curricular activities. What will you do if we come into conflict?"
Lilah knows the answer to this. "Wolfram and Hart is a means to an end," she says. "They have something I want."
"Power," Irina says.
"Does it make me a cliché if I say that I think the only way to be safe in an arbitrary world is to make the rules?" Lilah asks, earning another cool, serpentine smile from Irina.
"It makes you young," Irina replies. "The way to be safe is to find a place where there are no strings attached to freedom from rules."
"Maybe this is my way," Lilah says defiantly, setting her chin. (So much like Jack's child. Irina's child. Lovely, stubborn woman so certain she can survive the wolves.) "Revolution from within."
Irina rises, and for a moment, Lilah's heart speeds up, certain she's offended her patron and blown the best chance she'll ever have to find her own connections. But instead Irina walks into Lilah's space, raises Lilah to her feet, and kisses her on the forehead.
"Two lessons, Miss Morgan," Irina murmurs into the woman's ear. "First: will you have any power or dignity when you agree to go on your knees for me in a moment? Second: your greatest weapon? Will always be recognizing that your purpose is to gain freedom from power instead of power itself. Power is a means to an end."
Lilah tries to answer, but when she opens her mouth, Irina closes it with two fingers as she slips a card into Lilah's bra and gently, inexorably, pushes Lilah down.
"In case you find your plans fail."
* * *
(in hell. six months ago.)
Wesley isn't coming.
He never was going to come, and certainly not after the one-two punch of Lilah being stupid enough to forgive his psychotic ass and Angel's idiotic mindwipe. Lilah loves Wesley and always will, but part of that is because he is ruthlessly pragmatic and cannot do something as selfish as dwell on rescuing an ex-girlfriend from her eternal hell-imprisonment.
Especially not ex-girlfriends who deserve hell.
No, Wesley isn't coming and Lilah's tired of being stuck in hell and watching this shit go down via her closed-circuit television. While she's busily doing the work a good middle manager at the home office does, Lilah remembers Irina's promise, the one she made years ago. How many years ago had Lilah contracted to be one of Irina Derevko's accomplices? She has done her job well; Derevko's money has been so effectively tangled that the real money and the real power survived even Irina's CIA confessions. In fact, Irina had told Lilah that she was going to turn herself in during their last face to face meeting before Irina's capture and Lilah's death.
Lilah understood, and suddenly Derevko's organization was much more modest.
Wesley isn't coming and Lilah has to save herself. When her next break comes two weeks later, Lilah makes a phone call.
Three days later, Lilah is gasping and choking her way through a resurrection while Wolfram and Hart resentfully tears up Lilah's contract. Irina doesn't actually come by to witness the event or even acknowledge it except for a phone call and an email. New work orders.
Before Lilah shreds her life as the bitch queen lawyer of Wolfram and Hart, she makes one final visit to the LA offices of Wolfram and Hart. Wesley is playing house with the thing that killed Fred, and when Lilah walks into his office, Illyria looks unhappy.
"To what do I owe the pleasure?" Wesley asks bitterly.
"Of me being alive and well and out of your hair?" Lilah replies. "Nothing you and the band of self-righteous brothers managed. Oh, wait, I forgot. The only people worth saving are the ones who crawl on their knees for Angel. Or does the ex-goddess know about that?"
Wes glares at her. It's good. She needs him to hurt her so she can move on and go away; that's why she's doing this. "Why did I take up with you?"
Lilah puts a knife on the table -- one that took doing to find. Illyria recognizes it; Wes doesn't. Interesting. "Because your throat was cut and all your friends abandoned you, remember?" she asks coolly, feeling just like Irina and saying it just like herself. "Oh, wait. You don't. Oh, well. Not my problem anymore."
She turns away, and it hurts less than she thought it would. He doesn't love her anymore and Lilah isn't the woman she once was. She's free of all this and the thought makes up for the regret when he doesn't call after her.
* * *
(right here, right now)
Lauren's Wesley is a boy scout named Michael Vaughn. In a truly non-stunning ironic twist, Vaughn belongs to Irina's daughter, the goody-goody Lilah wanted to trade places with once upon a time. But when Lilah mentions Vaughn, Lauren doesn't squirm. It's Sydney that's under Lauren's skin and while Lilah doesn't get it (Sydney looks to be even less interesting than Fred, and Lilah didn't think that was possible), she uses it to her advantage.
"I just think it's funny you settled for her brother," Lilah says, strapping Lauren into a Kevlar vest and kissing the nape of her neck.
"I didn't know Sark was Sydney's brother," Lauren protests, the weight of her outfit pressing against her. "And I didn't settle for him. I had sex with him."
"You want to have sex with Sydney," Lilah points out, pulling Lauren's hair back and out of her face. "You want to fuck her the way you fucked me."
"You want Irina to love you like she did Sydney," Lauren snaps, turning around and sneering. "Or am I wrong in reading this in a very Oedipal way, partner?"
Lilah hisses and crushes her mouth against Lauren, until both of them are sweaty and breathless from kissing. "This isn't about love, Lauren," Lilah says softly, brushing back a stray hair. "This is about power. You know what to do?"
"Do you think Irina trusts you enough to fall for it?" Lauren asks.
"Irina doesn't trust anyone," Lilah says, looking at the tacky carpet. "But I owe her everything. Why would I do this?"
Lauren picks up the gun, and that insane look gets back in her eyes. Lilah realized very early on that Lauren is a thrill-seeker and every spy feat gets her a little wetter, a little more eager to do and then fuck. It could be worse; she's very obvious in her way. Very young, the way Lilah was once upon a time. Lauren is desperate, and if she's not careful, she's going to end up deader than Lilah ever was.
"This is insane," she purrs. "I think I'm in love with this plan. And you."
It's not going to end well, Lilah knows. But Lilah has absolutely nothing left to lose and everything to gain, and one person in love with her, even this mad brat-child, is better than nothing.
"Let's do it," Lauren says, pulling out her gun. "Let's take out the Man."
"It shall be done," Lilah says, looking out the window. She's always hated Vegas; after tonight, she'll never go again.
* * *
(six months from now.)
This isn't the ending she would have envisioned for them (finding Lauren atop Wes, skirt rucked up to her betraying little tits, moaning as she rode him. Stopping. Laughing) or for anyone for that matter.
("Want to play?" asked Lauren and Wesley staring at her and being different somehow. Being the Wesley she knew once upon a time) But then again, nothing ever goes to Lilah's plans. And staring at the floor, she's beginning to understand why.
Lauren is still very obvious, even when she's giving Lilah one hell of an orgasm under the desk ("I see you've found my distraction, Wes. She given you a blowjob yet?") But she's also oddly honest and honey sweet to keep locked in her bedroom.
"Have you learned your lesson?" Lilah asks when she finally pulls a dazed, bruised, and sticky Lauren into her lap. (Wesley stroking Lauren's breasts, still deep inside her while Lilah watches silently. "She's really quite lovely, Lilah. I can see why you like fucking her...it's something about the accent and the death wish, isn't it?") Lauren's hands are still bound with duct tape, but Lilah's not removing it any time soon. "Certain people you do not fuck. Actually, just one. And that was him."
"I wanted to hurt you," Lauren confesses, leaning her head on Lilah's shoulder like a penitent daughter begging to be forgiven. "I thought if I hurt you, you'd care."
"And instead you got that poor bastard's throat slit," Lilah says, looking toward the corner where the last dregs of Wesley's life are draining away as he stares at her, feverish and angry to the very end. "I might not be able to protect you from Angel, you know."
Lauren moans. In part because Lilah has taken mercy on her and is bringing her off with one manicured hand as efficiently and cruelly as she knows how. "You wouldn't abandon me," she says. "Please. I need your help."
She's still so obvious, grinding into Lilah's hand as though this were pleasurable instead of humiliating, trying to convince Lilah that she wants to be mistreated in their feverish love affair. Lilah was Lauren, but with better shoes and more brains. She knows better than to be taken in by the act.
"Yes," Lilah says, forcing Lauren to strain harder to get any pleasure out of this. "You need my help. But is it worth the risk to me?"
Lauren comes not long after, the hushed whimper sounding like a prayer.
Mercy is sweet. Revenge is sweeter. Lilah understands Irina's lesson at last: the ability to give either on a whim is sweetest.