Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project
Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project

By Amy
For Voleuse

Fun fact about Hell: it's not all just "torturing others" and "torturing self" down there. It never was. Lilah knew that before she was even sent down there. Sometimes they'd gotten the schedules for the employees who were stationed there, and then it had been hours of fun. There's a cruelty to hanging a man by his fingernails for three days, but there's a far more refined one in letting him take breaks to go to meetings discussing the corporation's stock options.

So Lilah had been prepared, kind of. She knew that she could stand physical torture pretty well; she wasn't like Lindsey, crying like a little girl at the first sign of a beheading axe. Wesley had made sure of that.

But she also knew what she wasn't fond of, and so it made sense that somehow, the annoying, the banal, and the tedious were always considered in Lilah's realm of expertise.

She really didn't have it that bad. She knew that. Most people would kill for her job. She had a lovely apartment, excellent food, and a body most people in Hell not just would kill for, but had. And her job, on the whole, was pretty much exactly like it was back in California, with a few notable exceptions.

What it boiled down to was one thing: if something would have been an excellent job for anyone else in the world, and anyone else would have enjoyed it, but it would cause Lilah to grind her teeth and actively wish she'd been a better person? That would inevitably show up on her to-do list.

Example 1, with a bullet: organizing the office Christmas party.

Lilah had planned parties for years in the L.A. branch. It was easy, and fun, and there were far more rewards than there was effort. Parties meant drunken superiors giving away all of their secrets, and even drunker co-workers attempting to perform the Electric Slide. Mostly it meant delegating, and signing a few hundred cards with a personal message encouraging people to show up this year, despite last year's incident, whatever it had been, which would not happen again because that breed of demon would not be invited back, she promised.

In Hell, it didn't work that way. Just like in L.A., of course, failure meant torture and pain, but there, failure had never been an option. Here delegating wasn't quite so easy, and neither was organizing. Lilah had seen it happen time and again, every little detail perfectly arranged, only to be destroyed by some freak accident that, in theory, could happen to anyone.

But they never did happen to anyone. They happened to Lilah.

So she was careful. Some might say "anal and obsessive-compulsive", but those were people who hadn't been in Hell long enough to see how reasonable her choices were.

Lilah had dozens of copies of her invitation list. She saved it to three separate places every half hour, and printed it every twenty minutes. She had CDs she had burned to carry with her at all times, a flash drive, and her hard drive, which she backed up to a server every night. Lilah believed in taking every possible precaution.

It was just like Hell, then, that on the same day that her CD case was stolen, her flash drive got permanently damaged by a small but not unpowerful clan of demons whose chief powers appeared to lie in magnetic pull, and all of her papers went up in a freak office fire, her laptop's hard drive stopped working. And, of course, it was the day that everything needed to be finalized, three hours before the deadline.

Which, really, she should have expected. But somehow, she was surprised anyway.

Tech services in Wolfram and Hart were almost never helpful, but she called anyway, and was surprised to hear a voice other than Lucinda, who was known for both her smoker's cough and her inability to see more than four inches in front of her face, and Hector, who had cloven hooves and thus could not actually type on a keyboard. This person was different in a variety of ways; for one, the voice was actually pleasant, and for another, she didn't answer with some variation on "Lilah, I'm not a miracle worker, you know?"

Instead, she got a pleasant "Why don't you bring that up here and I can take a look?"

So she did.

Hector wasn't in the office, and neither was Lucinda, and in their place was a thin, pretty woman with dark hair and cool eyes, who caught Lilah's eyes for a moment and smiled. "Hi," she said. "I'm Jenny. You're the one who called about the computer issues?"

Lilah examined her critically. "You have ten fingers?"

Jenny nodded, and wiggled them for emphasis. "Toes, too."

"Do you have some aversion to metal? Do you like to set things on fire? Have you ever melted solid rock?"

Jenny smirked. "So, you know I'm just a temp, right?"

Lilah set her computer down on the table, and Jenny immediately spun it around, opened it, and turned it on. "A temp?" Lilah asked. "I didn't know we had temps here."

Jenny shrugged. "Sometimes when it's bad, they call in a few of us from Purgatory for a day or two."

"You're from Purgatory?" The words sounded absolutely beautiful to Lilah. "You mean you're not here to actively destroy my day?"

Another shrug. "They said I could if I wanted to, but honestly, that's a lot of work for a three-day job."

Lilah positively beamed. "I understand. Look, it's my head on the guillotine if this doesn't get fixed by like five today. And I mean that literally. They constructed one on the seventeenth floor."

"No," Jenny said. "I understand." She hit a few keys, frowned, hit a few more. "And I... should be able to fix this."

"I could kiss you," Lilah said, shaking her head.

"Play your cards right..."

Lilah raised an eyebrow. "Are you flirting with me?"

"Do you want me to be?"

Lilah knew, instinctively, that this was a bad idea. There are very few ways for flirtations to end well when one of you has a 50/50 shot at heaven and the other is damned for eternity.

But it wasn't likely that the consequences would be for her.

She leaned across the table and kissed Jenny, hard. And Jenny, to her surprise, was just as into it as she was. So it was a real kiss, for the first time since Lilah had died. Which was nice. No one who worked full-time at the branch was really attractive enough to merit kissing. But this? This she could get used to. This was a reminder of all the ways that kissing definitely didn't suck.

She felt Jenny's hands move towards her shirt, and caught them. "After," Lilah said, "you fix my computer."

Jenny raised her eyebrows. "Turn around."

"If this is an assassination attempt, Jake on the fourth floor did it better, and I capped his ass."

"Cute." Jenny rolled her eyes. "We have a few techniques we're not supposed to let everyone see."


"Like things I'm not allowed to let you know about." And she gestured, her hands performing a quick spinning motion.

Lilah turned around, but didn't stop talking. "What, you're going to cast a magic spell on my laptop?"

Jenny's voice was almost hurt. "I thought you said you weren't going to look."

Lilah snorted. "That's it? It's fixed?"

"It was hexed," Jenny said. "But it's better now."

"Of course it is. You know, I didn't hear you chanting in Latin."

"You'd be amazed at what I can do without saying a word." And then Jenny smirked. "Want to see?"

Lilah did want to, it turned out. She wanted to a lot. She knew that Hell prided itself on its abilities regarding temptation, but she was far better at being the temptress than the tempted. This was a first. She was mostly just pleased that Jenny didn't have an apple.

Which in no way meant that biting wasn't involved.

Lilah wasn't entirely sure what was better: the seduction, or the sex, or the way that she had outsmarted the plans. They'd tried to outwit her. They'd tried to give her an impossible scenario where she would have to fail, but she'd won anyway.

And she'd gotten a hot brunette in the process. Wesley, she thought, would be so proud.

She was happy enough to return the favor, several times over. She'd forgotten the power sex gave, the control. Memories faded, but this was real, the feel of flesh against her fingers, her lips, her tongue. It tasted like success. It lasted a moment and lasted forever.

When both of them were thoroughly worn out, Lilah rolled over, half-blind with exhaustion, and happened to see the clock.


She'd missed her deadline. She'd had everything ready, and still missed it, and if this was the scheme Hell had come up with to trick her into a very personal meeting between her neck and an axe once again, well, she had to hand it to them. It was brilliantly executed. It relied on about fifteen variables, and every single one had been hit.

"Damn," Lilah said, not moving from the floor. She rubbed at her throat absently.

"Yeah," Jenny said gently, her hand never leaving Lilah's shoulder. "You pretty much are." And then a smile. "Was it worth it?"

It was. It wasn't. Lilah shrugged. "You're coming with me to the Christmas party," she said instead.

Jenny didn't say no.

So, all things considered? Not a bad day. It was Hell. It could have gone far worse.