There are aspects of perpetuity to which Lilah's never given much thought.
For example, she has begun to dream. Not that she didn't dream before, of course, but everything she experiences now shifts between surreal and lucid and back again.
For example, there is a woman in front of her, and she is naked. They are in a garden, and it is dying. The woman is facing away from Lilah, and the sun is setting over her shoulder.
Lilah traces her gaze over the outline of the woman's body, and wonders if this is temptation.
"I think it's supposed to be a metaphor." The woman looks back and smiles. "Not very subtle."
There is a fruit in Lilah's hand. It feels smooth under her palm, and she bites into it, thinking apple.
She chokes on the taste, and spits out three seeds. It's a pomegranate, and the seeds stain her hand a vivid red.
Lilah's pleased to keep her old office in the Wolfram and Hart building. She tries not to remember it's just for the time being. Aside from the constant dryness in her throat, she'd almost think she's still alive.
She terrifies the secretarial pool though, even more than she did before. That's a plus.
One morning, she looks down at her desk and there's a memo she doesn't remember seeing before.
White room, it says. Tomorrow.
Lilah's hand trembles, but she crumples the memo in her hand.
That night, she tosses and turns herself straight into the garden again.
The woman is waiting for her this time, still naked, and there's a snake twining around her ankle.
She looks up at Lilah. "If I run, it'll bite."
Lilah shrugs. "Is this the part where I act concerned?"
The woman slowly, slowly crouches, and then snatches the snake by its head, lightning quick. It hisses, and its tail lashes against her wrist.
"Not bad," Lilah says.
The woman loosens her hold, curves her arm, and the snake slithers up to her shoulder. "You'll sing me out of here eventually."
There's a trill in the air, like a song snatched away. Lilah shivers. "What do you mean?"
The woman raises her chin, and the snake's fangs are at her throat.
Lilah wishes she'd thought to put sunglasses on in the elevator.
As it is, she has to squint against the glare of the endless space, and she'd rather keep her eyes wide open and watching.
The girl is sitting cross-legged on a stool. Her hair is in pigtails, and there is blood under her fingernails.
"You'll be relocated," she tells Lilah. "Your talents are wasted here."
Lilah waits six beats, then tilts her head. "We both know that isn't true."
The girl taps the palm of her hand with her thumb.
Lilah takes a step backward and nods.
It's mid-afternoon when Lilah realizes her desk is emptying itself.
The manila folders are empty, and her top drawer is down to seventeen paperclips, a Mont Blanc pen with no ink, and three rubber bands.
She makes a few calls, but no one knows what her new assignment will be.
On her way to Demon Resources, she bumps into Lorne. He mumbles an apology, but never actually looks her in the face.
She stands in the middle of the lobby, and wonders if anyone will hear her scream.
That night, she's prepared to enter the garden. As soon as she makes that shift from darkened room to dusky outdoors, she raises her right hand and imagines it a weapon.
The woman gasps as Lilah presses steel to her throat. But hovering at the corners of her mouth is a smile.
"Who are you," Lilah snarls, "and what the hell is happening to me?"
"Natural consequence of the spell." The woman licks her lips, a gash of pink in the twilight. "You're a walking, talking breach in their memories."
"You should know." The woman shrugs, and her flesh is luminous in the twilight. "It was all in the fine print."
Lilah lowers her weapon, and weariness seeps into her bones. "So what happens to me?"
"You do your job elsewhere." The woman steps closer, and puts her hand at the center of Lilah's chest. "The firm sends in a replacement."
"Who?" Lilah asks, but she already knows the answer.
The woman leans forward. "My name is Eve," she murmurs against Lilah's mouth.
"Figures," Lilah retorts, and when she kisses Eve, she makes it a bite.
In the intervening months, Lilah familiarizes herself with several other branches of Wolfram and Hart.
Rome. DC. Cairo. Pylea. Beijing. Milan.
It's interesting, and it's challenging, but it's never Los Angeles.
She still dreams, at least, and sometimes she dreams of Eve.
She tries not to ask, because it shouldn't mean so much.
Instead, she distracts herself with hands and lips and skin, and the sound of Eve's moans, rippling in the air like regret.
They aren't always in the garden, and one night, she looks up from Eve's throat and sees only oblivion, and a dirt path beneath them.
"What is this place?" Lilah wonders.
Eve snickers, then she disappears.
The next time they meet, three weeks hence, they're back in the garden.
Lilah blinks, because the taste of pomegranate coats the back of her tongue.
"I don't understand," she tells Eve, and the fingers of her right hand flex.
"Six more weeks of winter," Eve quips. "They'll wail for three quarters and seek desolation."
It sounds familiar, but Lilah shakes her head. "What the hell does that mean?"
Eve snakes her arms around Lilah's waist, and they're both naked, now.
"Wait," Eve tells her, "and you'll see."