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Change of Pace

by Annie

CHANGE OF PACE

Part 1
FIGHTING JOSE

By Annie

Rated: R
Disclaimer: Don't own any of them and will never make a cent. Summary: Post Crush, Spike reflects on which road to stumble down next. Warning: AU; Buffy/Smallville crossover; possible slash in future chapters. Feedback: crehnert@ptd.net

FIGHTING JOSE

"You're like a serial killer in prison!"

The words echoed round and round in my head, punctuated on painful occasion by the sight and sound of the front door closing in my face. The two most realistic choices I faced now were, a) hit the road and leave Sunnydale, as had been so nicely suggested by Her Slayerness, or b) keep drinking till I didn't care anymore. Willy probably didn't stock that much alcohol, but I was on my way to being truly apathetic. I slammed my once-again empty shooter down onto the sticky surface of the bar and glared at the bartender.

"Okay, okay, it's coming," Willy rushed to assure me nervously, shaking just the slightest bit as he poured yet another tequila for me. He had at first questioned my choice of the Jose Cuervo over my usual bourbon, but I thought a change of pace might be good for tonight. Especially after the slap-Spike-down-like-a-demented-dog treatment I had endured lately. Well, today for sure.

I had just growled at him, I never liked him anyway, and told him to mind his own bloody business, I could souse myself in whatever I chose. I was thinking I should head for a little vacation in Mexico. Maybe fuck a few senoritas and forget about the two of them. Dru was nuts anyway, and I couldn't trust her, not after Angel and the fungus and chaos demons. As for Buffy, well, she was obviously not entertaining the idea of a tryst with an unwillingly reformed Big Bad now, was she?

Serial killer. She had to say it, I suppose, to remind me that she wouldn't ever forget who - what - I was.

I downed the shot with a grimace. Didn't like tequila particularly, but as a change of pace it was okay. I was betting with myself that I could drink the whole bottle and still walk out of the bar in a straight line. I had been here quite a while already, and I wasn't near the bottom of the fifth yet.

I pushed the glass across the bar again. It was me against Jose, and I thought I might actually lose. That feeling of whatever it was in my gut - humiliation, hurt, anger, betrayal, I couldn't even put a name to it, but it wasn't going away.

I had to get that sodding chip out.

First I had to drink the tequila, though, and Willy wasn't being fast enough. I reached down the bar to grab the ashtray of a recently-departed fellow drunk, meaning to hurl the thing at Willy's head. The newspaper was right there beside it. I thought I'd glance at the travel ads, pick a somewhere else to be, and flung the heavy piece of glass full of ashes and butts in the proprietor's general direction. I missed him, but he got the idea.

He left the whole bottle for me. "Look, Spike, just help yourself, okay? We'll settle up later. I trust you." He was still nervous, and it was getting on my nerves.

"Well, you bloody well shouldn't!" I glared at him. "I'm the Big Bad! I'll have your entrails for an appetizer if I get the munchies! Now get away from me."

Now that I had the bottle I sure as hell didn't need him anymore.

I pulled the newspaper over and skimmed blearily over the headlines. Been a while since I read a newspaper, not much caring what went on in the world outside of my own little, ever-decreasing circle. A phrase caught my eye. 'latest technology'. Of course, that just reminded me of the damn chip, but I noticed a few more phrases and decided to read the whole thing. Who knew where the Initiative might have started up shop again?

It was about LuthorCorp. Of course, even though I lived in a crypt and thrived on soap operas, I did occasionally see real life things. I knew who Lionel Luthor was, and now I was reading about how his far-reaching conglomerate was into all the latest, state-of-the-art technology, investigating everything from brain transplants to mind-control for rapists and serial killers.

Whoa. I was sober in a heartbeat. My heart wasn't beating of course, but it was a really fast turn-around. Seemed from the article like this stuff was being handled by the elder Luthor's infamous son, Lex, who was currently running some big plant of theirs in Kansas. Kansas? Was he in exile? Allergic to bright lights and big cities?

I could feel the slow smile spreading unbidden across my face. I picked up the bottle and downed the rest of the tequila, chewing on the gross little morsel I got for beating Jose.

Turn on the porch light, Auntie Em. Spike was on his way.

CHANGE OF PACE

Part 2
First Impressions

Rated: R
Summary: Spike has come to Kansas. Note; for the purposes of this AU story, Season 1 of Smallville is running at the same time as Season 5 of Buffy. I just moved them around a little. Disclaimer: Not mine, not a single one of them. :( Feedback: crehnert@ptd.net

First Impressions

It was a really long, boring drive, and the only thing that bothered the hell out of me was that the Slayer would think I had left town because she had ordered it. Well, after I managed to get this chip out, I'd get right back to the bloody Hellmouth, and then I'd show her. Good and proper, I'd show her.

I spent the entire days-long drive trying to avoid State Police who might want to know why my car windows were blacked out, and the nights robbing places in sleepy towns, in an effort to amass enough cash to tempt Lex Luthor. I didn't think he would be really interested in cash, but if there was a chance that his wallet was being controlled by his loving father, then just maybe he would. The alternative; offer to turn him, so he could live his probably-fantastic life as a billionaire forever. If he allowed it, I could probably bite him, get a bit of the fresh stuff. Of course, I would have to be careful about that, skirt around the actual wording of the thing. I wouldn't want to be locked up in a LuthorCorp cell for scientific study. It might be even worse than the Initiative. I'd test the waters when I got there. No matter what, I couldn't go back to Sunnydale neutered. Not anymore.

I was driving through the middle of nowhere, gods-forsaken country devoid of anything but old farmhouses surrounded by fields of crops and livestock, when I finally saw the sign. Smallville. Nice enough as town signs go, I guess. I had to resist this sudden, almost uncontrollable urge to run the thing over and park the DeSoto on top of it, but common sense ruled. I didn't really want to announce my presence, now did I? I had to park deep into a treed area on a dirt road to wait for the sun to go down. I sucked down my last bag of blood out of the cooler in the back seat, and then headed to town.

It wasn't actually that different from Sunnydale, at that. High school, 'go, team, go' posters all over the place, business district closed except for a few bars and restaurants. People drove and walked slowly, mostly all of them giving me the once-over. I stuck out like a bleedin' sore thumb, here among the farmhands and such.

So, if I were a young male billionaire, stuck here in the back of beyond, where would I go at night? Being me, my first thought was of course alcohol and women. I hadn't seen any signs for women, so I hit up the bars. I knew what he looked like from television exposes and news reports. Certainly, there would be only one citizen in town that young who was bald.

I didn't want to ask for him straight out, so I cruised through about six bars, having a drink at each one, looking around. 'Just passing through,' I told the curious, even one time brushing off a woman who approached me, probably looking for free booze for the night. I had another, more important agenda, so I bought her a drink and took off.

No luck. I wandered the streets, deciding to get one of the locals at the next bar I hit liquored up enough to loosen his tongue. At least then I might be able to get an address, just take the bull by the horns (God, I was lapsing into farmboy talk) and go see the man.

It was the car that got my attention. I was heading down the street toward a neon beer sign, passing pick-ups and older model cars, when a silver Ferrari caught my attention. It had to be his, all flashy and extra expensive. Parked in front of a coffee shop?

I raised my scarred eyebrow a little and then just shrugged and sauntered idly in.

There were about fifteen customers in the place, most of them teens. It was nice, in a cutsey, low-brow ambient sort of way. Little lights around, nice little round tables, perfect for conversation. Also a counter at the far end of the establishment, with one or two mirrors behind it. I picked a seat near enough to one of the mirrors that I could scan most of the room sideways, but not directly in front of the reflective glass. Just in case anyone would happen to notice that my existence didn't extend to the looking glass.

A teenage girl with doe eyes and long straight brown hair all but bounced over to greet me.

"Hi," she gushed, all sweetness and light. "Welcome to the Talon! What can I get for you?"

God, I could practically smell the saccharine quality all around her. If I bit her I would probably go into a diabetic coma. I was starting to miss SunnyD.

"Bourbon?" I questioned hopefully.

Her smile got even bigger and sweeter, if that was possible. "Only coffee. Or a milkshake, if you'd like that better. Or a root beer float?"

I almost shuddered. "Coffee. Black and strong." I requested.

She was back with it almost immediately, setting it down carefully in front of me.

"New in town?" she chirped, holding out her hand in greeting. "I'm Lana Lang. I'm the manager here."

Another raised eyebrow. Very young to be a manager of anything, except maybe make-up and hair accessories.

"Just passing through," I intoned automatically. I felt compelled to reach out and shake her hand briefly. "This is your place?" I asked. "Very nice. You're doing a good job here." I took a sip of my coffee. Too strong.

She lowered her eyes demurely. "Actually, Lex owns the place with me, I just run it for him."

Ah, that explains the car out front. He must be there, keeping an eye on his investment. I needed to get rid of the little girl now.

"Have you got a newspaper? I haven't seen one today."

"Sure," she replied, reaching below the counter and handing me the daily edition of the Smallville rag. "I'll come back in a while to see if you need a refill. Enjoy your stay here."

Not bloody likely.

I scanned the room behind me in the mirror, under pretense of reading the newspaper. Some of the patrons had left while I was talking with the sugary Ms. Lang, and so Lex Luthor wasn't too hard to spot. He was sitting at a table behind me to my right, with two other people. One was a girl, another teen, with short blonde hair, looking about as bouncy as they come. The other person was a boy, also a teenager, but he looked like he was built a lot better than any other teen boys I had ever seen. I guess if you looked in the dictionary under 'big, strapping farmboy' you'd find a picture of him. I could see him and the girl in profile only, but I could see Lex Luthor's face, and I watched him.

He was wearing a very expensive-looking purple shirt and some black dress pants. He had long legs stretched out under the table, languidly crossed at the ankles. His hands rested lightly on the table around his cup. He seemed very laid back, obviously with friends. He was too much at ease to be having any kind of business discussion. He had coffee or something, the other two had what looked like ice cream floats, or something else disgustingly sweet.

Luthor was speaking with both of his companions, but mostly his attention was on the boy. I took another sip of coffee, trying to act naturally, and turned the page of the newspaper.

At my second study of the table behind me, I noticed that he was sitting closer to Farmboy than to Blondie. So, she wasn't his girlfriend then, although, even without knowing specific Kansas laws, I figured he was too old for her. So, three friends, then. Probably Farmboy and Blondie were the couple.

The blonde suddenly got up and left, waving bye to Lana behind the counter, with a cheery, 'see you tomorrow.' Farmboy didn't go with her, but now he turned to look at Lana behind the counter and I got a good look at his face. Too pretty. Billion-watt smile.

And now I had my third raised eyebrow for the night. While Farmboy was looking at the manager, Lex Luthor was looking at the Farmboy. Intensely.

Now, I know I can't feed as a vampire anymore, with this bloody chip, but it hasn't dulled any of my other vampirically enhanced senses, and let me tell you, there were waves of tension coming off that table. I could feel them all the way over at the counter. It could have been some kind of anger tension between them, or some jealousy because Lana Lang had favored Farmboy with a huge smile when he looked in her direction. That wasn't it. I could feel what it was, plain as the horn on a Thrombelus demon's face.

Lex Luthor wanted to fuck that kid.

CHANGE OF PACE
Part 3

Facing Lex
By Annie

Rated: R
Summary: Lex and Spike actually meet.
Disclaimer: Still don't own any of them, but a girl can dream, can't she? Feedback: crehnert@ptd.net

Facing Lex

Armed with some unexpected, entirely surprising information, I thought I might have a bit of ammunition to use, if Lex Luthor was less than enthusiastic about my future unchipping. After all, he would benefit, too. His scientists could examine the damned chip, make a few more, and sell them for lots of money. A last sip of coffee and a quick glance in the mirror told me Farmboy was getting ready to leave. Luthor would probably be out the door right behind him. I threw a few bills on the counter, tilted my head in farewell to Miss Sugar in the Raw behind the counter, and headed out the door to hightail it to the car. I would simply lay in wait, like the predator I knew I was, and follow Luthor home.

As I passed their table on my way to the door, Luthor glanced up at me disinterestedly, then turned his attention back to his youthful companion. It had been a look of dismissal if I ever saw one. He was too wrapped up in his present company to spare a moment for anyone else. But he had looked me right in the eye, and I had never seen a shade of blue-gray quite like his eyes. I found myself wondering in the back of my mind if that was why he was wearing the purple shirt, to complement the eyes. Most men couldn't pull it off. He wouldn't be wearing it to advertise the fact that he wanted to shag the big meaty morsel sitting there with him. Purple being the color of royalty, I figured that was the real reason. His family was as close to royalty as anyone could get here in the colonies.

        The car was several blocks back, so I jogged through the dark and nearly deserted streets to get there and back to the Talon before Luthor left. I parked a block and a half behind him, and then settled down to wait. It didn't take long. Sure enough, Farmboy came out and took off in a red truck, driving past me. Luthor left the coffee shop almost immediately after, heading in the other direction. I followed at a discreet distance until I saw him pull off the highway and head up a wooded road. I pulled way off the road and decided to walk from there.
        One fuck of a long driveway, and as soon as I saw the house, if you can call it that, I stopped in my tracks. Huge bloody castle, looking like it had been picked up and teleported magically from some ancient time to this little spot on the map. I didn't see the silver Ferrari, but I assumed, rightly, that there was a big garage somewhere. I was almost at the front door, getting ready to just knock and request admittance, when I heard the swish of metal cutting a swath in the air near me. I froze. Just in time.

        The sword had stopped exactly at my throat, and though it wouldn't kill me unless he took off my whole head, I didn't want to get off on the wrong foot. I raised my hands to show I was without weapons and therefore harmless (horrible degrading word, harmless).

        "Hold on there, Mate," I tried to sound my friendliest. "I just want to knock on the bloody door!"

        Luthor stepped up from beside me. I had no idea where he had actually come from, or where he had been hiding. I had been so engrossed in planning my spiel, I hadn't had my sensors out.

        "Hold on, yourself, Mate," he warned calmly. "Why are you here? This is private property, and I know you don't have an appointment."

        "I'll make one," I offered brightly. "Say, ten minutes from now? Give me time to collect my thoughts. Give you time to sheath the big letter opener."

        "I'm not sheathing anything just yet. LuthorCorp is in the book. Call my secretary."

        I smiled just a bit. "You don't want your secretary to know about this, I'd wager. Not when you hear what I'm going to do for you."

        He turned again to face me more directly, the subtle lights on the grounds glinting in those eyes, not as disinterested now as they were fifteen minutes ago.

        "What could you possibly do for me that I don't have two thousand or so employees to do already?"

        "It's a bit easier to talk when I don't have Excaliber at my throat," I replied.

        He smiled coolly and brought the sword down to rest along his side. "Talk."

        I looked around carefully. "Here?"

        He nodded. "Here is fine. There's no one around to listen."

        I shrugged. "All right then, if that's how you want it. In a nutshell, I read about all your scientific study with brain control. Someone put a chip in my head so I can't hurt anyone, not even to defend myself. I want you to make your scientists take it out."

        Luthor's expression never changed. I could have been giving him tomorrow's weather forecast, or the gambling odds on Friday night's high school football game. I probably could have told him Little Miss Talon was giving the team head behind the counter next to the espresso machine and I don't think he would have so much as blinked.

        "And I would do this, exactly why?" he asked curiously.

        I leaned forward just the slightest, conspiratorially. "I can do things for you. Things you can't even imagine."

        "I can imagine a lot. I already have a lot. What I can't imagine is what you think I need from you."

        "Immortality."

        Even that didn't throw him. He was studying my face intently, uncomfortably. I kept thinking of the way he looked at Farmboy back in the coffee shop, and I hoped he wasn't going to try any of that with me. Neither the old Spike nor the new Spike would put up with that bloody nonsense. I saw the decision in his eyes even before he spoke.

        "I'll talk. Mostly because I want to figure out just what kind of scam you're running here. You come back here tomorrow, maybe, around 4."

        I hesitated. It would probably be sunny as hell in the corn fields of America tomorrow.

        "Can we make it a bit later? I have other kittens to fry tomorrow afternoon," I told him.

        He nodded. "Okay, 8 then. Final offer."

        "Eight it is," I agreed. And then he was gone. Turned on his heel and went into the huge house, closing the door firmly behind him. (Shades of closed doors in the Hellmouth.)

I was at the front door again promptly at 8 the next evening. A servant ushered me in and led me around a maze of stone rooms and hallways, filled with antiques and what were probably priceless paintings and tapestries. He opened the office door for me, motioning me in, and disappeared down the hall.

Luthor was sitting behind his desk, using a laptop, but he closed it abruptly when he saw me and stood.

"Ah, Mr.....?"

"Spike will do." I said, stepping toward the desk and the chair in front of it.

"Yes, Spike," he repeated. "Hostile 17, I presume?"

Change of Pace
Part 4

Dealing

Rated: PG
Summary: Spike and Lex try to come to an agreement. Disclaimer: Still trying to own them, it's still not working. :( Feedback: crehnert@ptd.net

Dealing

Well, everything went flying right out of my chipped head just then.

He knew. Somehow, he knew. About the Initiative. About my designation there. This might turn out to be a bad idea.

Lex came out from behind his desk nonchalantly, enjoying my surprise, and the fact that he had stopped me dead in my tracks. So to speak.

"How?" I asked him, as he gestured to the chair in front of me and I sat obediently. "How do you know anything about this?"

"How indeed?" he repeated, sitting on the edge of the desk, long, expensively-clad legs relaxed out in front of him. "I like to know things. I don't like to be surprised. And I especially don't like to be in negotiations without having the full background story. I had heard about the intriguing brain chip the government was trying to develop. I was looking for some outstanding scientists to staff my labs. And just where do you think I found them?" He shrugged nonchalantly, the soft shirt he was wearing following the movement of his shoulders like it was tailor made for him. Which it probably was. "Can you guess?" he asked.

"Well, no," I told him, trying not to fidget in the chair. He was above me, sitting on the edge of the desk like that, with me in the chair, and I realized suddenly that it was deliberate. He was in a better position than I was, in more ways than one. I put a look of bravado and confidence on my face that I absolutely did not feel. "But I'm sure you're going to tell me."

He smiled. "Yes, I am. Actually, I found them all in the Black Ops unemployment line, desperate for work. I recruited the best in the country and I pay them astronomical amounts of money. I know the Initiative was destroyed, but why would you think no one would know about it? All it takes is one or two people to escape with a computer disc or two in their pockets. I do my homework, Spike, and it didn't take too long going through the records to find you. I know they'll like having their hands on you, even more than I would." I wasn't comfortable with the innuendo there.

"So, you know. They still can't give you what I can," I barreled along.

"Immortality? As what? A creature like you? A vampire? The only reason they aren't here with the steel mesh nets right now is because I wanted to find out a little more about you myself. I have seen a lot of things in my life, and I have done a lot. But a vampire? I wasn't sure I should believe everything I read on my laptop today."

I didn't care for his mention of steel mesh nets. I particularly didn't care for having threats aimed at me by this rich fag, no matter how thinly veiled. I stood abruptly, satisfied by the almost-flinch in his eyes at my unexpected movement. "You want me to show you?" I asked challengingly.

He looked down at the floor briefly, and I got the impression he was trying not to smile too broadly. When his head came back up, he had me pinned with those steely blue-gray eyes. "I know you can't hurt me. I am prepared, however, to defend myself," he told me, reaching around behind him to show me a cross he'd had hidden behind the laptop. He laid it leisurely across his crotch. Talk about warding off demons. Wasn't like I was planning on going there anyway, Farmboy lust be damned.

"So, what is this proposition you have for me, Spike? Why shouldn't I simply call the lab and have them come and get you?"

I started pacing then, wanting to keep him off guard. "It would take a bit more that that, Luthor. I wouldn't exactly be waiting around here for them when they came. I had a bloody good idea, and I came all this way to talk to you about it. Mutually beneficial, I think you'd say."

"So talk," he prompted, watching me intently. That was almost worse than sitting in the chair with him looking at me like some kind of lower life form. I could feel his steady gaze on every move my body made, and found that it disturbed me in places I didn't want to admit.

"Okay, here's the deal. " I shook off the invaded feelings and dove right in. "You have the scientists take out my chip. In return, I will turn you, and you can live out eternity as a billionaire."

"And how do I know you'll stick to this bargain after the chip is gone?"

"You'll just have to trust me. My word is my bond."

Lex laughed. "The word of a vampire? A demon? How stupid do you think I am? Do you think I didn't know what you were doing in the Talon last night? Watching us. I saw you coming a mile away, Spike. You're not exactly the most subtle person I've ever seen. I didn't get this far strictly on my father's coattails. I've dealt with him for over two decades - I'm not intimidated by you."

"I don't want you to be intimidated, just interested. Think about it. Imagine living forever; the women, the riches, the power..."

"The Slayers." Lex added. "Yea, I know about them, too. Immortality may not be all it's cracked up to be. There are down sides to everything. Besides, it occurs to me, you want me to have your chip removed so, what? You can go out and kill people?"

"Well...yea," I said, more defensively than I liked. "I'd stay away from your loved ones. Whoever they are."

This statement caused him some kind of - something. He blinked. Quite noticeably. (Point for Spike. I rejoiced inwardly; he was not invulnerable.) I didn't think he was going to make a list of his loved ones for me any time soon. Best not to let the vampire know if you like boys. He just didn't realize the vampire already knew.

I almost smirked. "You know - your loved ones. Miss TooSweet at the Talon, little Blondie-girl, pretty Farmboy. Is there a lady of the house, by the way?"

He pushed off from the desk then, coming nearer to me than I thought he would feel comfortable doing. His eyes were hard, body tense and set, heating coming off him in waves that were almost overpowering. I had definitely hit a nerve.

"Don't threaten me, even obliquely. You can't go far enough away."

I almost stepped back, he was so intense, but I stood my ground.

"Are you going to think about it, or should I just push off and find someone else?" I asked seriously. I was ready to get the heck out Dodge if he said no.

He backed off. "I'll think about it. Come back tomorrow night. I'll have an answer then, one way or another." He headed back around the desk to his laptop. I was obviously being dismissed.

I turned to leave.

"Oh, by the way," Lex said, not even looking up from the desktop. "Love the coat!"

Change of Pace
Part 5

Interlude
Lex

Rated: NC-17
Summary: What Lex is thinking.
Disclaimer: Once again, not mine.
Feedback: crehnert@ptd.net

                                                             INTERLUDE
                                                                    LEX

Thing was, I really did like the coat. I also liked the thought of everything under the coat.

I spotted him in the Talon right away, he was so obviously out of place. Bless my little paranoid Luthor heart. I always have to protect myself, and I never let my guard down. Except around Clark. Well, most of the time anyway. I still thought there was a lot more to Kent than met the eye. I was working on that mystery when the golden-haired stranger sauntered into the Talon like he owned the place or something. Of course, I never missed a beat in my conversation with Clark and Chloe, even while I surreptitiously took stock of the newcomer.

He was pretending to read the paper, but he never looked down at the bottom half, to check out the headlines and ads there. That's what gave him away. Then when he finally decided to leave, I looked up briefly. I just wanted to see his eyes. Icy blue, probing and intense when they met mine, if only for that small second of time. A surprising stab of hunger in my gut.

When I left, I watched for the telltale headlights following me on the highway. Not many cars on the road around Smallville at that time of night. I ran into the house and grabbed a sword from a display on the wall, concealing myself behind a decorative shrub just outside.

I had to send him away, had to check out this story, because the mention of an implant in his brain shocked me. Although my scientists had insisted all their records were actual cases, they had been hard-pressed to really convince me. Until I poured over the disc on my laptop.

A real, fucking vampire. A vampire who was deluded enough to think I would let his threatening reference to my 'loved ones' go by unnoticed and unanswered. Spike was obviously worldly enough to pick up on the fact that, more than anything, I wanted Clark for mine, body and soul. Clark himself was way too nave and trusting to even have something like that enter his mind. Much as I wanted, no needed, Clark, there was simply no easy way to approach him. Plus, he was underage, and my father would probably totally disown me if I went to prison. I didn't even want to think about what Clark's father would do to me.

A real vampire. Better yet, a vampire who couldn't harm me. Now I was more intrigued than annoyed. As I was considering all the implications of having a real vampire in my possession, curiosity came to the fore.

Why was he really here? Just to get the chip out? Was he that desperate? Reckless enough to think he could go up against me, Lex Luthor, unscathed? According to the tales the scientists delighted in telling, Sunnydale was an absolute hotbed of demon activity. Why leave? There was probably a lot more for a vampire to do there than in the cornfields of middle America. Of, course, there was the question of feeding. If he couldn't feed from humans, maybe he was desperate to get the chip out of his head. But there was a Slayer in Sunnydale, too, and maybe the vampire wanted a fighting chance against her. I thought a small trip to Sunnydale might not be out of the question, after this little deal was concluded. Check this Slayer thing out myself.

Also, he'd be dead, necessarily, being a vampire. Or undead. So that meant, what? No heartbeat. No breathing. But he walked and talked, just like a real boy. Except he was as far from being a boy as I was from being my father's favorite son.

Spike was a man, and all the books I'd ever read, all the movies I'd ever seen, came crashing into my head. Vampirism. Hunger for blood, needed to exist. But they had always been portrayed as such sexual creatures. Now I wondered. Did everything work? I wanted to touch him. I wanted to feel for myself if he was cold, like a corpse. I wanted to see if he was capable of having sex, or if the vampires in literature and entertainment were simply glamorized sexually to sell books and tickets. He certainly looked hungry enough. And he obviously wasn't the type to back down easily.

I was getting hard thinking about it. Sometimes I even amaze myself. I reached down to readjust the hardness, making my breath catch in my throat at the touch of my hands. My warm hands. His would be cold and that thought made me harder, sent me upstairs to the shower. I was suddenly incredibly horny, and I soaped up my hand and pounded myself mercilessly, reaching over to turn off the hot water the barest second before I came. The cold shock pushed me over the edge, intensified every spasm until I thought my insides were coming out through my cock. I turned off the water completely and leaned weakly against the wall of the shower, ragged breathing slowly coming back to normal. I hoped I hadn't screamed and I honestly couldn't remember if I had or not.

I wish I knew where he was hiding during the day. Would he be weak? Vulnerable? Totally dead? (Am I a necrophiliac?) I had told him I would let him know my decision tonight. I had already made it, already knew what I was going to do even before our meeting last night.

Spike would make for a nice little distraction here in the banality that was Smallville.

Change of Pace
Part 6

Back to the Talon

Rated: R
Summary: Spike tries to do some digging in Smallville Disclaimer: Not mine, no never, much to my dismay. Feedback: crehnert@ptd.net

Back to the Talon

I woke up hungry, trying futilely to stretch myself to wakefulness on the back seat of the DeSoto. Thought briefly about nicking a minivan or a station wagon to get more sleeping room, and dismissed the idea. No time for that. I had things to do and people to coerce. Like Lex Luthor. I didn't see how he could refuse to at least seriously consider my offer. If I were that rich, I'd want to live forever. I would have gotten a hair transplant, though.

Running my fingers through my own platinum hair, I tried to gauge the time of day through the small clear spot on the windshield. It looked like it was just dusk, so at least I wouldn't have to sit here, bored to death and starving, waiting for the sun to set. I got out of the car slowly, carefully looking around for intruders. I was parked on the same dirt road as the other day, way at the back end of someone's corn field, and the crop was plenty high enough to hide me and the vehicle from prying eyes. I figured I'd take a walk into the field, look for some stray crows or something, in lieu of looking for a butcher shop. It probably wouldn't be the best idea to go into a butcher shop to buy blood in this town. If there was even one open, that was. I never found a crow or anything resembling a snack, but a treasure fell right into my lap anyway.

I had walked quite a way through the tall stalks of corn, kind of enjoying the deepening darkness and the small sounds of insects, the feel of the green spears as I brushed down the long rows. Farmer Spike. What a laugh that would be. What a treat for the Scoobies back in SunnyD if they knew I was skulking through a cornfield looking for defenseless animals.

I stopped in my tracks, as I heard an entirely different, human, kind of noise. I crept forward more stealthily and came to another dirt road going through the cornfield. Luthor's Farmboy, fixing a flat on what appeared to be the family produce truck. I stared, thinking I might be hallucinating from hunger and the heat. It wasn't the fact that he was fixing the flat tire that held my attention. It was the fact that he was holding the front end of the truck up with one hand and positioning the spare onto the rim with the other. He then let the vehicle down gently and proceeded to fasten the lug nuts easily with a simple twist of his fingers. He got up, looked around briefly, as if to see if anyone was watching, and then got back into the truck, heading down the road and presumably back to the old homestead.

My eyebrow was getting tired, here in Smallville. I wondered if Lex Luthor knew there was something funky going on with this wet dream of his.

Hunger forgotten briefly, I thought I should try to garner a bit more info on this little incident. Could Farmboy be some product of the Initiative scientists? Some boytoy Luthor had gotten them to conjure up for him, on the pretense of building a better human? I almost rubbed my hands together, I was so excited, but there's a limit to the nancy boy actions where I'm concerned. No, I was fairly certain Lex wouldn't like any secrets about the object of his affection getting out into public domain. After his reaction to the tiny implied threat I had made last night, I was sure Luthor would go to great lengths to protect the boy. Or maybe he didn't even know about his super strength. Either way, perhaps I could get the chip out and get some going away cash, as well. I might have the upper hand now, unless the extraordinary strength of the teenager was known by the whole town, in which case the information would be worthless as leverage to use against Lex. And if Luthor had wanted me captured by the Initiative, they would have been there last night. The very fact that they hadn't been gave me some hope that we could come to an agreement.

First, I knew I would have to stop in at the coffee shop again, scout around for some local color, urban legends about supermen, or what not. Hunger forgotten for the moment in the wake of my discovery, I wondered as I started the car whether I should stop at the hospital and get a shot of insulin before I ventured into Lana Lang's territory.

There were only a few more patrons at the coffee shop than the night before. Blondie and Farmboy were not there, but the dulcet Ms. Lang was again in attendance behind the counter. I took a seat at a small empty table in a corner where I could watch the door, giving my order for black, strong coffee to the waitress. Lana, of course, saw me, and bopped right over, angelic smile on her face.

"You're back again," she gushed in welcome. "Would you like to try some of our homemade blackberry pie with your coffee?"

Not unless you want me to gag and heave, I thought. As the Slayer usually greeted me with a punch in the face, I was unaccustomed to having a female treat me so solicitously. I forced a smile.

"No, thank you. I've had dinner. I just wanted to have another cup of your wonderful coffee before I leave town."

She frowned, the action dulling the smile only about a hundred watts. "You should stay a few more days," she suggested, moving aside for the waitress to set my cup in front of me. "The big game is tomorrow night, and we're sure to win!"

A truly enticing idea, I thought sarcastically. "I only have one more business meeting and then I have to be on my way, unfortunately. I was hoping to spend a little more time. Get to know people better, you know, soak up a bit of the local color. Hear all the really good town stories..."

"I have just the person for you, she just walked in the door! Chloe!" She turned and shouted to Blondie, who had just entered, and headed right over to my table at Lana's call.

"Hey, Lana. What's going on?" she asked brightly.

Lana was beaming. "This is Mr......." She paused expectantly, waiting.

"William," I filled in. "William will do nicely," I said, half standing in greeting to Miss Chloe and then resuming my seat. Lana gushed on.

"This is Chloe. She takes care of the Smallville Torch, and she knows everything there is to know about what goes on in Smallville. She can fill you in on anything you want to know." She glanced at the counter and saw new customers there. "Sorry, I have to get back to work. Chloe, he's all yours. I'll send your soda over."

And with that, Lana took off, leaving me with the effervescent Ms. Chloe eying me as if I were under a microscope.

She pulled out the other chair and sat across from me. "New in town?" she asked inquisitively.

After an hour of listening to Chloe Sullivan expound on the strangeness of Smallville, which she had laid at the door of the eerie meteor that hit way back when, I was finally rewarded - saved? - by the appearance of none other than Farmboy himself. Not a thing had been said about anyone having superstrength due to the meteor rocks, but there seemed to be a lot of freaks walking around as a result. I thought I should head on out of town the very minute I got done with Lex Luthor.

Of course, Farmboy came right over to our table, obviously wondering who the older man was who had Chloe's rapt attention. I was glad for the interruption, as I was about to go out of my mind from the scent and sight of the strong pulse at her throat. I needed to feed, and soon. It was becoming too much of a distraction.

"Clark," Blondie greeted him happily. Big crush going on there, the vibes were enough to knock me over.

"Chloe," he smiled at her. "Who's your new friend?" he asked, turning the billion watt smile on me.

She was happy to supply the introductions. "Clark Kent, this is William. He's passing through town on business and I was just filling him in on all the great stuff there is to know about Smallville."

Clark held out his hand to me and I shook it firmly.

My brain started reeling. Not human, my senses were telling me. Not human at all. Something nonhuman in a human shell. With human blood, no doubt.

"What kind of nonsense has Chloe been filling your head with?" Clark asked. "This is just a small town, with friendly people, as I'm sure you've noticed on your own."

I smiled, just a bit, the hunger was starting to drive me to desperation.

"Chloe has been perfectly entertaining. I really need to get going now, though. I have my car behind the shop in the alley and I have to fix a flat before I can get on my way."

I thought it sounded idiotic and feigned, but Clark fell for it like a ton of lead.

"I'll come out and help you," he insisted. He turned to the blonde. "Chloe, tell Lana I'll be back in a few minutes."

I stood and he stepped back for me to lead the way to my supposedly crippled car. What a trusting fool. No wonder Luthor thought he'd have a shot at fucking the boy someday.

Of course, my car wasn't anywhere near the back of the coffee shop, but it didn't matter. The second we were in the dark alley back there, I slammed him up against the brick surface of the back of the building, vamping in preparation for some dinner. Nonhuman meant I could feed, and there was no way I thought he'd be stronger than me. Not the state I was in. Game-faced and starving.

I was in a different state of mind altogether when he grabbed me by the front of my duster and flung me away from him. Way away from him. All the way out of the alley and across the street to slam through the flower shop window.

"Bloody hell," I cursed, scrambling painfully to my feet and racing off to the DeSoto. I was afraid he might try to follow, but Chloe had apparently decided to join us, and my last glimpse of Clark Kent was of him grabbing his blonde friend and looking around for me. It seemed like he was trying to tell her what had happened. Me, I was gone. And as soon as I took care of Lex Luthor, I was getting the fuck out of there.

Change of Pace
Part 7

Mutually Satisfactory

Rated: NC-17
Summary: Spike and Lex come to an understanding. (pun intended) Disclaimer: Not mine to do with as I please. Most unfortunate. Feedback: crehnert@ptd.net

Mutually Satisfactory

I drove as fast as I dared to the Luthor mansion, driving across the landscaped lawns to park behind, out of sight. Just in case Kent decided to come here and warn his friend. Hopefully, the teenager would spend a good deal of time looking for me in town instead.

I was late, but as I was ushered into the office, I saw Luthor wasn't there waiting. Always wanting the upper hand. The lights were very dim, and I looked around for the switch to turn them up, but couldn't find it.

I had only been there a few seconds when he came hustling in, a towel draped over one shoulder, and headed for the bar across the room. He'd obviously been working out, probably had a state of the art gym down the hall. He had on a pair of soft black sweat pants and a tight black tank top, and I couldn't help notice that he looked to be in way better shape than I would have assumed for someone of his station in life. I would have thought he spent his days and nights eating, drinking and shagging women. Or whoever.

"You're late," I mentioned, forcing myself to ignore the sheen of sweat glistening on the warm flesh. Fuck, I was hungry. This was going to be a problem.

He raised an eyebrow at me. "So were you. I can't wait around. Brandy?" he offered, as if this was the most banal business meeting in history.

"Sure, " I agreed. Better than nothing.

He handed it to me briskly. "Have you eaten? I'm sorry, do you eat? Food, I mean. I guess you haven't had anything else since you arrived in town, have you?"

I briefly considered asking if he had any buffalo wings or one of those breaded onion things, but I knew they wouldn't do anything for the hunger raging inside. I hadn't had any blood since day before yesterday.

"Thanks anyway, I'm fine. Can we get this over with?"

Luthor's cell phone rang just then, and he went to the desk for it, checking the caller ID, then answering.

"Clark," he said in greeting, then his brow furrowed slightly as the Kent boy apparently went into the story of the dangerous stranger he had tangled with in town. As he listened, Lex's eyes moved to me and lingered there uncomfortably, his gaze sweeping from my face to take me in all the way down to my boots and back up. Except his eyes didn't make it all the way back up, they paused at my crotch, like he was trying to develop x-ray vision or something. I snarled softly and downed my brandy in one gulp, turning away from his sight, helping myself to another at the bar. The alcohol was heating up my insides. At least I hoped it was the alcohol, but the way my nostrils kept flaring, trying to catch the scent of his sweat and blood, I didn't think it was the brandy. Lex was finishing his phone call.

"I haven't seen any strangers around at all, but I'll alert the staff to be on the lookout. I have an international conference call in a minute or two, Clark. I'll call you later. Be careful."

He disconnected and tossed the cell onto the desk, amused.

"So, now you've met all my friends. Whatever made you try to attack Clark? That desperate to feed? How bad was the headache?"

"Fucking blinding," I lied. I wasn't about to let the cat out of the bag about his dreamboat being less than human. Or more than human, whatever the truth might be.

He had seemed seriously surprised that I would try to attack someone. Guess that meant he thought of the Kent boy as human after all. Unless he was bluffing. This was getting to be a lot harder than I expected. I wanted it over with.

"Blinding," he repeated, going for a second drink as well, walking over to stand in front of me instead of going back to his desk.

"So, what's the verdict?" I pushed, wanting, no needing, to get the hell out of there. Soon.

"Let's recap a moment, shall we?" Lex asked, taking a sip of the smooth brandy, relishing the warm feel of it in his mouth. I clenched my fists, trying not to notice the throb along the side of his neck. "I order the scientists to remove the chip in your head, thereby allowing you to go on for numberless years committing murder. You, in turn, suck my blood and kill me, turning me into a billionaire demon murderer. I don't think so."

"Fine," I said shortly, wanting nothing so much as to get away from him. I downed the rest of my drink and threw the glass carelessly somewhere behind me. Luthor ignored the clunking as it rolled across the rich carpet, seeming to be amused at my quick acceptance of his answer. "I'll just be on my way. I'll keep my chip and my secrets about your friends, and shove off." I turned to the door.

"Wait," he commanded. "The vampire has secrets? We may discuss that later. The meeting is not adjourned. I have a counter proposition. One that won't involve nearly as much time out of our lives as yours does, but should still be mutually - satisfactory."

Okay, so my curiosity got the better of me, and I stayed. "So tell me," I asked, intrigued despite my growing need to get out of the room.

"I told you yesterday," he began, going back to the bar to get yet another brandy and filling a new glass for me. He came over to hand it to me, even closer than he had been, and I downed this drink as quickly as I had the other two. "Anyway," he continued, after a brief moment of probing eye contact, "I told you that I have done just about everything, but I have to admit that I have really been thinking a lot about your - condition." He stepped forward to reach up and run a finger along one of my cheekbones, the touch stabbing into my groin and twisting upwards, adding to the blazing hunger I was trying to fight. "Cold," he said softly. "Amazing." He pressed his fingers into my chest muscles tentatively then. "Hard," he breathed.

"Anyway, what I had in mind," he continued, breaking his own intense concentration, "was that I would let you feed from me. I want to see what it feels like. Then I'll let you leave and I'll never tell the scientists that you were here at all."

"How do you know I won't just kill you, then, not turn you, leave you laying on this poncy carpet all dead and cold."

"Well, really, you couldn't, could you? As long as I allow it, it's okay, right?" I nodded. "But as soon as I start not liking it, your chip fires off and I don't think there's enough Tylenol in the house to help you out. Plus, you do get something in return."

"That would be?"

"Fresh, painless dinner."

My cock twitched and my mouth almost watered. I was so hungry.

"Before you decide," Lex changed the subject. "I just want you to look at something for me. Just a little thing I've been trying to sort out. Maybe, with fresh eyes, you can tell me what you think it is. Hang on a sec."

He took his warmth away from me abruptly, going around behind the desk to look for something on his laptop. He continued explaining. "There was an attempted robbery at the museum recently, and I managed to download a copy of a clip from the security camera. Let me load this up a minute."

The cyberglow from the terminal lit up the sharp planes of his face in the dim room, and I stood there, waiting. Watching. Hungry. Hard. The hard surprised me, as I'd always preferred birds to blokes. I hadn't expected to feel anything but contempt for this rich man's son, who was so far away from the soft, spoiled pouf I had thought I'd find that it wasn't even funny. I had just wanted to use him, and somehow the tables were being turned. But the thought of blood, fresh blood, painless balm to this burning hunger, roiled my guts, making me harder by the second.

I shouldn't have come here.

"Come here, look at this," Lex requested, and I went to stand behind him, watching over his shoulder as we saw an indistinct blur streak across the screen.

"You have it on fast forward," I told. "Slow it down."

He turned his smooth head in my direction as I leaned closer over his shoulder to look again, warm, brandied breath washing over me as he spoke. "It's on normal speed. Have you ever seen anything like that before? Do you know what it is?"

He repeated the video, and it came to me with sudden, blinding clarity. It was the Kent boy. Super strength. Possibly super speed, too. I was lucky to still be in one piece. I almost smiled. Luthor didn't know. And I wasn't going to tell him. Not right now, anyway. I wanted to get away. But I was galvanized by the man in front of me. His scent, crawling up into my brain, sweat, brandy, expensive cologne, and the man himself, the blood pulsing under the smooth warm skin. I was almost vamped, almost losing it, and I had to control myself. I could just hold onto my information. Have my fresh meal and then sell the knowledge to him later, after he was half dead, half drained and more amenable to me.

"I have no bloody idea what that is," I lied. "Probably some glitch on the tape or something."

Lex changed the subject back to where it had been. "Take off the coat, Spike. It's not polite to eat and run."

His words made me want to throw him right to the floor and drain him then and there. But I decided to give in and enjoy the only decent meal I'd had in, I don't even know how long anymore. So I removed the leather coat and laid it across the desk as he stood and came around the chair to put himself close to me once more. He placed a warm hand on my arm, slight pressure to test the muscles there, and his breath hissed lightly through his teeth. I could feel the tremendous sexual energy coming off him, and I knew he could feel it from me, too. That hunger that endangered his very existence. "Does it hurt?" he asked quietly. "Not that I care."

"I can make it hurt, if you want it to," I offered, hoping he'd take me up on it, wondering if the sodding chip would fire if Luthor wanted the pain. I know I wanted to give it to him, and I had to concentrate on keeping those feelings quelled.

"I'll let you know," he promised, both hands on me now, running smoothly down my torso, heading below my waist. I reached out and grabbed his hands then, stopping him. I didn't think I wanted him to touch me there.

"It might get messy," I warned, although I wasn't planning on losing even a single hot drop. Lex reached down and pulled his tank top off, flinging it on top of my coat on the desk.

"Maybe you should take your shirt off, too," he suggested, hint of a dare in his voice.

I laughed. "What? You think I'm ashamed because I'm bloody dead?" My shirt quickly joined his. "I have to warn you, though, I will change for this. You may not want to look."

"No," Lex said, coming so close our bodies were almost touching. "I want to see." He leaned his head to one side slowly, baring his throat for me, and I could hear his quickening breath and feel it on my skin. I had fed from men before, of course, but never as an offering. And never anything that had turned me on as much as this had.

Lex placed his hands at my waist, thumbs slightly hooked in the top of my jeans. I put my two hands on his shoulders to steady him, and brought my face close to the heated pulse in his skin.

I inhaled deeply, finely appreciating the scent of warm human skin, so different from demon. It was like comparing hot dogs and filet mignon, to put demon skin and blood up against the human variety. There was nothing more heady than the scent of hot human blood. He inhaled sharply as I licked his skin with my cold tongue, following the heated pulse there. I went into vamp face without even thinking about it, and leaned in closer to place my lips on his throat and suck gently on the sensitive skin.

He moaned and thrust his hips against me, and I could feel how hard he was. I was urgently hard myself, cock throbbing for a release that for once didn't come from my own hands. Lex's hands left my waist and smoothed their way down across my hips to close around my hardness, another moan escaping from his lips. I almost moaned myself, wouldn't give him the satisfaction, and finally bit into the warm skin firmly, tasting fresh hot blood for the first time in what seemed like eternity.

I moaned then, couldn't stop myself if my unlife depended on it, and found my hand wandering down to his pants like it had a life of its' own. I sucked the hot, coppery liquid, hard, one hand seeking his hardness, the other running down the hot skin of his back to his waist, pulling him even closer. He cried out and reached down to open my jeans, gripping my cock tightly, barely moving his hand. I was gone then, lost in the taste of his pulsing blood, and I pushed my hand into his sweats and grabbed his cock, feeling the slickness of precome on him, knowing it was for me, and that made me suck even harder.

We were both moaning by this time, and I was sucking in earnest, in cadence with the up and down movements of Lex's hot hand on my aching flesh. I thought I heard him whisper something that sounded like 'velvet granite' but I was too far into what I was doing to pay attention. I knew in the back of my mind that I had to stop drinking his blood quite soon, but I wanted to come while I was doing it, and I deliberately thrust harder into his fist. He fucked my hand in a heated frenzy, and when I felt us coming together, exploding, my cold semen on his hot hand, his hot semen on my cold one, I had to tear my mouth away from his throat, before I bit right through and killed him with the force of my orgasm.

Lex leaned against me weakly, shaking, trying to breathe normally again, and I held him up. For my own part, I was strong, bolstered by the nourishment he had willingly given. He would be all right in a little while. I licked the last vestiges of blood from his throat, reluctant to end my feast, then I sat him gently back into the big chair behind his desk.

I had to get the hell away from him. Now.

"Incredible," I heard him murmur, as I looked through the desk drawers for a piece of paper. I found a box of richly appointed LuthorCorp stationery and used the gold pen that was laying next to the laptop on the desk. Lex was still kind of out of it. This was not a game we should be playing.

I would end up killing him, and my head would probably explode.

I wrote a brief note and left it right there where he would see it as soon as he regained his senses. It occurred to me that this was probably the only time in his life when Lex Luthor would be weak and vulnerable. He had taken quite a chance, counting on the chip to work properly.

Hell, I didn't even know where I was heading now. Definitely away from Smallville and inexplicably superstrong farmboys. Maybe back to the Hellmouth, see if anyone had managed to open it. Maybe killed the Slayer while I was gone. See if Willy had any more Cuervo.

The note? It just said:

"Luthor, if you ever want to know what I saw on your museum tape, or what I found out in town, look me up. We can deal, as gentleman. Mutually satisfactory, and all that rot. S."


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