More Than This

By Minim Calibre

Notes: For the Femslashficathon. Lilah/Jenny, R.


It’s a cold day in Hell, and that’s nothing new.

No matter what they tell you in Sunday school, Hell’s always a little chilly.

Except for the weather, Hell’s not that different from Los Angeles: miserable traffic, beautiful people, air you wouldn’t want to breathe. Sure, the food’s always a little off, most stores are only open on Sundays, and what they have in the way of entertainment makes the unpaid overtime a blessing in disguise.

If they let you work it, that is. “Ms. Morgan?” the disembodied voice of the remote secretary comes through the speakers.

Lilah looks at her watch: 3:47. Just in time to catch the worst parts of rush hour. “Yes?”

“I’ve been instructed to tell you to take the rest of the day off. For your health. Don’t forget you have a seven o’ clock and a ten o’ clock tomorrow, and that Mr. Manners would like you to prepare another post-mortem on the effectiveness of the L.A. office’s emergency response.” A click followed by static followed by silence.

Lilah grabs her briefcase and goes. Outside, it’s grey and miserable, and she wishes she had a coat, all the while knowing it wouldn’t help. The temperature automatically adjusts itself to two degrees below comfortable according to your wardrobe choices, after all. She adjusts her scarf and heads out into the wind.

The bar’s a little too warm. Figures. “Scotch, rocks, as old as you’ve got.” It tastes like Pine-Sol; it always does. As old as they’ve got is prohibition-era rotgut. All they’ve got is prohibition-era rotgut. She downs it and orders another.

“I can’t believe you can drink that crap.” It’s the woman sitting next to her. Dark hair and eyes, fairly pretty. The woman smiles before she reaches up and rubs the back of her neck.

“It’s better than the other choices. Sore neck?” Lilah asks, not caring. “Broken.”

Lilah sets down her drink and slowly unwinds the green silk from around her throat, letting one manicured finger trail across the damage before she covers it up again. “Beheaded.”

The smile widens. “I’m impressed, but I get the feeling that’s what you wanted. I’m Jenny.”

“Lilah. So, Jenny, what are you in for?”

“Gin and tonic. But if you mean why am I in Hell, I’ve been told it’s because I was a liar. You?”

“Lawyer.” Lilah shrugs. “It was part of my contract.”

Jenny raises an eyebrow at that. “That’s one hell of a contract.”

“Good benefits, great pay, and plenty of room for advancement even after death. Don’t knock it ’til you try it.”

“I’ll keep it in mind if I decide I need a career change.” She leans forward, catching the end of Lilah’s scarf in her hand. “Nice scarf.”

Lilah feels the cool brush of Jenny’s fingers against the inside of her knee as the scarf drops, and sees the invitation in Jenny’s eyes, and decides to accept it. “I have more back at my place, would you like to see them?”

She’s rewarded with a wide, wicked grin. “Sure.”

Lilah’s place is too warm, just like the bar—every building in Hell shares central heating. For once, she doesn’t care. She slips off her Lorenzis, sets her briefcase down, and leads Jenny to the bedroom, wincing a little as she looks at the familiar decor. Lilah hates her apartment; it’s identical to Wesley’s, down to the number on the door: 105. Hell’s department of housing assignments has a sick since of humor.

Jenny’s skin is soft and cool, and Lilah can taste the bathtub gin on her lips when they kiss. She slides her hands under the soft blue cashmere of Jenny’s sweater, and feels the memory of heat flood her body, almost like the real thing. Jenny’s fingers quickly slip buttons from their holes and Lilah’s blouse slips off her shoulders and falls to the floor.

“That was quick,” Lilah murmurs, her own fingers busy unhitching Jenny’s bra.

Jenny shrugs before raising her arms to let Lilah pull the sweater and bra off together. “Last time I dawdled, I ended up dead before we could make it to home base. I’m not taking any chances.” She moves her hands to the hidden zipper at the back of Lilah’s skirt, parting the dark grey gabardine and pushing it down.

“Careful,” Lilah puts her hands over Jenny’s to slow them. “Don’t want to wrinkle it. Do you know how hard it is to find a good dry cleaner in this town?” She guides the hands slowly over her hips, weaving their fingers together and showing Jenny where to linger. “Dawdling in small doses does have its advantages.”

“Mmm. You have a point.”

Lilah shows Jenny the advantages of dawdling after they get their clothes off, too. She lets her mouth float lazily down Jenny’s stomach, teasing instead of insisting. Under Lilah’s palms, Jenny’s nipples are hard, and her chest’s rising and falling with hurried breaths that match Lilah’s own. Sure, neither of them need to breathe, but it’s force of habit.

Under Lilah’s lips, Jenny’s skin feels almost warm, almost damp. Lilah slides one hand down to Jenny’s thighs, slipping it between them to where the heat and moisture has gone from almost to actual. She lowers her head, stops teasing. There’s something to be said for being quick, too.

Jenny’s whole body jerks upwards. “Jesus!”

Lilah lifts her head and smiles. “Trust me, he has nothing to do with this. If he did, maybe this place wouldn’t be so damn crowded.”

“Or crowded with the damned.” Jenny’s words end on a gasp as Lilah lowers her head again.

They twist and tangle together for hours. At one point, Lilah brings out the promised scarves, and they take turns tying each other up. Exhausted, but not quite exhilarated, Lilah runs her hand over a back that should be slick with sweat, but isn’t, and watches Jenny sleep.

The clock says 4:15. She has to be back in the office in a little less than three hours.

The room’s still two degrees too warm, outside is still two degrees too cold, and Lilah’s still trying to find a way to make Hell a little more comfortable. Jenny curls a little closer. Lilah lets her.

What the hell, it’s better than nothing.

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