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Change of Venue

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Change of Venue

by Annie

Change of Venue

By Annie

Rated: PG
Summary: Sequel to Change of Pace/Space; Changing Lanes and Changing Your Mind

Spike asks for some help from Clark and Lex Spoilers: Buffy, Season 7
Disclaimer: Not mine; making nothing.

Lex breezed through the mail stacked on his desk. He didn't really feel like opening anything right now, was more concerned with Clark's visit later. They were a lot closer now, since Clark had decided to tell Lex everything, and Lex had to admit, they'd been having a lot of interesting evenings, testing Clark's powers; lighting fires in the fireplace, timing Clark's speed with Lex's fastest cars, breaking things on Clark's skin and generally always trying to think up new challenges for the boy. They had been skirting around the issue of attraction for the last several months, and Lex let that alone. He knew how Clark felt, and Clark certainly knew how Lex felt.

When Clark was ready, Lex would know. In the meantime, he took every moment he could with Clark, and treasured all of them.

It was the small white envelope with the California postmark that got his attention just as he was deciding to abandon the desk and go upstairs to change out of the business suit he had been hating all day.



He really didn't want any distractions in his life right now, not anymore than usual anyway. Lex picked up the envelope, contemplating, holding it in one hand and tapping it on the fingers of the other. Had to be from Spike, of course, and he wondered why a letter, but then realized Spike wouldn't have any way of getting in touch with Lex personally. Not without going through LexCorp, and he'd most likely get nowhere with them.

He studied the writing on the envelope, pronouncing it a tad ornate for a male hand, but knowing it was Spike anyway, the image of the refined letters on the note the vampire had left on his desk easily brought to mind. Oh, well, no time like the present.

He grabbed the letter opener and slit the envelope open, a single small sheet of white hidden within.

Two simple words, Call Me, and a number.

Lex sighed inwardly. So what could it be? F.B.I. traced Spike to sunny Cal? Somebody put another chip in Spike's head and he wanted to complain? Wanted to ask Lex to be his best man at his wedding to the Slayer? That last one made Lex snicker sarcastically. As Spike would have said, not bloody likely. Lex wondered idly if Spike had a phone in his crypt, and then decided there would probably be only one number on Spike's short list.

No sense delaying the inevitable, Lex decided, picking up the phone and dialing, settling back into the chair expectantly.

A young female voice answered the phone in Sunnydale, a gaggle of other female voices cluttering up the background.

"Is this the Summers' residence?" Lex asked, raising his voice a bit over the far-away clatter.

"Who wants to know?" the girl asked cautiously.

"Lex Luthor."

"Yea, right," he heard coming over the phone scornfully, and then a click as the disbeliever hung up on him.

In Sunnydale, Spike had just entered the living room, running into the riot of noise that always surrounded the Potentials, when he saw Dawn turn away from the phone.

"Can you imagine?" she was saying to Amanda. "Like we don't have enough going on the way it is, now we have cranks calling saying they're Lex Luthor...."

She had barely finished the sentence when the phone rang again, and Spike startled her by rushing to grab it. "Everybody outside. Now." Spike demanded, picking up the phone to speak into it briefly. "Hang on a minute," he told Lex, looking at Dawn emphatically, his other hand motioning in the general direction of the back yard.

Dawn just rolled her eyes. "Who's that? One of your demon friends with delusions?"

Spike glared.

"Fine," she relented, herding the rest of the girls outside for some fighting practice.

Spike turned back the phone. "Luthor," he said in relief. "I didn't think you'd call."

"Well, it's a good thing you answered, because I wasn't going to try a third time. People don't generally hang up on a Luthor. You did ask me to call you." Lex sounded perturbed.

Lex was beginning to rue the day Spike came to Smallville.

"I did," Spike admitted. "No one knows I called you."

Lex raised a mental eyebrow. "What can I do for you, Spike? I haven't changed my mind about the chip, by the way."

"Chip's not an issue anymore. It's out."

Lex sat up in his chair, intrigued. "How did you manage that?" he asked curiously, hoping, for their sakes, that none of the previous Initiative scientists in his employ had somehow taken it upon themselves to remove the thing.

"Long story, maybe when I see you I'll give you one of those nutshell recaps you like so much."

Lex smiled, fully appreciating the uniqueness that was Spike, able now to ignore the slight heat of his blood when he thought of the vampire, and simply marvel that one actually existed.

"Besides the chip, how has the brain been treating you? No more of those episodes, I hope."

"Another long story," Spike replied. "I called you because we need your help here. Not yours, actually. Farmboy's, to be precise."

"No," Lex said immediately, remembering what he had seen when he had gone to Sunnydale the first time.

"Lex," Spike said firmly, gravely. "This is more than you can know. This may be it for everybody. And I don't mean everybody in Sunnydale. I mean everybody."

"Everybody, like everybody," Lex repeated.

"You, Kent, Miss Talon, us, the world. We need help here, and I have an idea, but I need Kent. We need what he has."

"Out of the question," Lex denied. "Clark is not going anywhere near the Hellmouth. I'd be happy to call Fox Mulder and point him in your direction. Maybe he can help with your little Apocalypse or whatever."

"End of existence as we know it, mate. No simple Apocalypse here. No world left for you to take over, Luthor, unless you help."

"I'm sorry, Spike, the answer is no."

Spike heaved an aggravated breath. "Just ask the boy, will you? Let him make up his own sodding mind about it. I'm not exaggerating here, this is it for the world. Maybe all worlds."

"And what does the Slayer think about this?" Lex asked.

"Let me worry about the Slayer. You just talk to Clark. Call me in the morning. Luthor?"

Long silence on the Kansas end of the line, and Spike would have held his breath if he had any to hold.

"Fine," Lex told him shortly. "I'll talk to him tonight. I'll let you know."

Lex hung up the phone and sat staring at it in silence for a long time, until Clark appeared in the doorway.

"We need to talk, Clark."

To be continued