Make your own free website on
| Home | Games over a bottle of Claret | Playing at Love
Games over a bottle of Claret

Author: Little Imp

Rated PG

Spoilers: Not many, general knowledge up through season 3 ep. Provider.

Disclaimer: Being that I am neither Fiona Apple or Joss Whedon, neither the song, nor the charaters portrayed herein belong to me.

Distribution: Just ask, I'll more then likely say yes.


It was a slow night at the newly rebuilt, again, Caritas. Lorne didn't like it, it didn't bode well for future business if even the regulars were afaird to come back. There were a few people here, only a handful really, and of course the whole Angel Investigations gang, minus Gunn. He'd had the unlucky hand that drew the short straw, leaving him with the babysitting job. Not that Connor wasn't a cutie. The other four were here to support their recent roomie in his Grand Re-RE-Opening, promising not to bring any disasters with them. Oh well, Lorne thought, at least they're drinking.

As he returns to the bar for a comforting Seabreeze he looks up to notice the friendly face that just walked in. "Mab, darling I didn't know you were in town.", he glides over to the woman with open arms, "When did you get here?"

"Just this morning, I spent the day shopping.", taller then just about everyone in the room she is the picture of elegence. Wearing a long gown of a green ,light and shimmering material . Her long dark hair swept up in braids and ribbons with only a few ringlets hanging down in the back. Her skin is alabaster and almost glowing and her eyes, outlined in dark liner, are the perfect emerald green. "I figured I should be here to celebrate your re-opening, and bring you a fresh batch of my special blend Claret.", she waves back at the young, but strong and handsome man following her with a small wooded crate in his arms.

"And a good thing you did dear heart," Lorne smiles, "because the last batch you sent pretty much went up in flames before I got to open the first bottle." He ushers the barkeep over to help the young man with the crate and extendes an arm to Mab. She takes his arm and he leads her to an open table off to the side of the stage. They both take a seatfacing each other, "So this is a delightful surprise, are you in town on business or pleasure?"

She smiles, "Pleasure always. Not much of a crowd tonight is there. Well then, I guess I can't make it too easy on you then. Shall we up the stakes a bit?" She cocks a perfectly sculpted eyebrow.

"So you want to play our little game, you sure about this. With so few people here it might be too easy." The barkeep comes over with a Seabreeze for Lorne and a glass of Claret for Mab, sets them on the table and leaves, back to the bar.

Mab scans the room, her eyes nearly closed and look of concentration on her face. She finds something she likes, stops, looks at Lorne and smiles, "Oh I definitly want to play, but not the usual rules."

"I wonder who that woman is talking with Lorne?", Fred looks over curiously, "She beautiful, almost regal. She pratically glowing."

"Yes, she does seem to have an interesting etheral quality to her." Wesley glances over to the table, "Succubus perhaps, or something of that ilk."

Angel turns to see, "She looks familiar, she's old I can tell that much."

Lorne gets up from the table and hands the lady the book of available songs. After flipping through the pages for a minute she chooses one, and Lorne types it into the computer, as she heads to the stage. Lorne then joins the team and takes a seat facing the stage. Mab takes the microphone and waits patiently as the music begins to play

     So be it, Im your crowbar

     If thats what I am so far

     Until you get out of this mess

"So who's your friend Lorne," Fred speaks quietly, not wanting to talk over the singing, "She has a beautifully voice."

"That's Mab, an old friend." Lorne seems intent on Mab, not taking his eyes away, obviously reading her as she sings, "She stops in now and then. Whenever she's in town."

     And I will pretend

     That I dont know of your sins

     Until you are ready to confess

     But all the time, all the time

     Ill know, Ill know

"She has quite a presence," Cordelia takes a sip of her dring, "She walks around like she's owns the place, not that I mean that in a bad way, just that she's confident."

Lorne lets out a small grin, "Almost like she's royalty, huh Angel."

"Royalty? Queen...", recognition dawns on his face, quickly replaced by concern, then quietly under his breath "Of course, I should have know."

     And you can use my skin

     To bury secrets in

     And I will settle you down

     And at my own suggestion,

     I will ask no questions

     While I do my thing in the background

     But all the time, all the time

     Ill know, Ill know

Lorne smiles in victory, "We have this little game we like to play whenever she's here."

Wesley perks up, "A game really, whet kind of game?"

"Well Mab, the dear, can read people's emotions, says it has to do with being tied to human sexual energy.", he takes a long sip of his Seabreeze.

Baby-I cant help you out, while shes still around

"She picks a person out of the crowd, and silently dedicates a song to them based on there emotions. My job is to read her and figure out who the song is for."

     So for the time being, Im being patient

     And amidst this bitterness

     If youll just consider this-even if it dont make sense

     All the time-give it time

"Sounds facinating," Fred smiles with intrigue, "So who's this song for?"

"Yes, with such a thin crowd it must have been easy to pick out the victim." Wesley leans in.

Angel just groans as his head drops to his hands, "This is going to end badly."

"Oh, no kiddies, that would be telling. Besides the rules changed a bit tonight, instead of dedicating a song herself, she found someone else who SHOULD be dedicating this song to a thrid party. I have to figure out both parties." Lorne gets up and heads to the side of the stage to await Mab.

"Interesting." Wesley leans back in his chair to listen to the remainder of the song, with a smile.

     And when the crowd becomes your burden

     And youve early closed your curtains,

     Ill wait by the backstage door

     While you try to find the lines to speak your mind

     And pry it open, hoping for an encore

     And if it gets too late, for me to wait

     For you to find you love me, and tell me so

     Its ok, dont need to say it.

Mab takes her bow to the applause of the small crowd, and heads off the stage where Lorne is waiting for her with her drink in hand. "Beautiful as always, but you made it a little too easy this time."

"Did I now," she eyes Lorne over the edge of her glass,"So tell me who was it this time, hmm."

"I suppouse I should have warned you that I had been living with them while the club was being rebuilt, but that wouldn't have been as much fun. The dedicator is Brood boy over there, and the dedicatee was would be the lovely vision of a girl sitting on his right." Lorne smiles trimuphantly.

"Oh, so close but still wrong." Mab smiles as Lorne looks at her unbelieving that he was wrong, "You got it all turned around, she was dedicating it to him."

Picking his jaw up off the floor, "Now wait a minute, I've read her, she doesn't feel that way towards him. I would have known."

"Just because she does not recoginize the feelings, doesn't make them any less true, and one day she will wake up and know the truth of her own heart. Besides all I could get off of him was something about Chipmunk robots on ice." They both glance over at Cordelia, Mab smiles and Lorne just stares letting the information register. "Now why don't you be a dear and send them a bottle of my best, I have to go get my beauty sleep," She lets her long fingers graze his cheek as she passes, "We'll discuse my winnings later." she says with a sly grin on her lips.

A minute later Lorne walks up to the Angel Investigations table with a bottle of wine and four glasses, "From the lady."

Fred looks up at The Host, "So did you win?"

"Not this time sweet pea, but that's okay by me." He walks back to the bar as Cordelia lifts the bottle to pour herself a glass.

Angel takes the bottle from her before she can, "I wouldn't drink that if I were you."