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Changing Your Mind 3

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Changing Your Mind 3

by Annie

Changing Your Mind

By Annie

Rated: PG-13
Summary: Spike and Clark meet; Lex finally decides what to do about Fox Mulder. Disclaimer: Not mine, still not mine.
Lamb courtesy of Sally, my fic zookeeper. :)

Prying hadn't worked; actually had never worked since the beginning, but knowing some of Clark's secrets, courtesy of Spike, helped Lex phrase his innocent-sounding questions in more leading ways. Clark didn't bite.

Hinting hadn't worked either, and Lex was unwilling to just ask Clark bluntly if he was really human. Clark would just favor him with that mega-watt smile, say something ambiguous and Lex would have to beat off again to get to sleep. Bad enough to have Clark hanging around him like some kind of walking aphrodisiac, but the nearness of the vampire was enough to keep him on edge. Insane outbursts aside, Lex felt an undeniable attraction toward Spike, and walked around the mansion frustrated because he really couldn't do anything about it.

The Initiative scientists were a font of information, however, once Lex demanded they spill all, and the tales of this Angelus were enough to chill his blood. He needed to get Spike out of Smallville. Away from himself and the Kents. He didn't want any of Spike's old gang coming to Kansas looking for him.

Also, he needed to do something about Fox Mulder.

Mostly, he needed Clark to open up and trust him.

What he should probably do was throw Spike out of the mansion and send him packing; tell Clark he didn't want to hear any more lies, and then find a way to get Mulder censured in the Bureau. Barring that, he should just go to Metropolis, get wasted and then laid, and forget about all three of them.

Lex sat behind his desk and sighed inwardly. None of that was going to happen. He was staring blankly at his laptop, thinking about Fox Mulder and ways to keep him away from Smallville, when he realized Clark was coming over in a few minutes. Lex still had to take Spike's daily bag to him, so he thought he'd do that quickly and have an uninterrupted Clark-analyzing evening.

Lex heard the shouting and cursing from way down the hall even before he got to Spike's room. Great. Just what he needed now, with Clark probably already pulling up the drive. He pulled the small metal cross he carried out of his pocket and cautiously opened the door.

Spike was standing in the far corner of the room, railing at someone loudly, accent heavier than Lex had ever heard it.

"I can't keep any promises! I can't do any bloody thing to help. G-man ex-boyfriends showing up, setting my place on fire, sodding other nancy-boy vamps all stuck in her brain! They all hate me, you know. Even the lil' bit probably hates me now, and the Watcher! Oh, when that wanker finds out, he'll have Red wicca my balls away! You should have warned me! Before the bloody trials! Don't you have some kind of get-a-soul-at-your-own-risk clause, because you bloody need one! I'm supposed to be worthy now? Worthless is more bloody like it!"

"Spike, calm down," Lex interrupted the tirade, walking into the room warily, cross held out in front of him. He laid the bag of blood on the table, watching as Spike's sharp blue eyes followed every move he made. "What's wrong, Spike? Why do you think you're worthless?"

Spike moved forward suddenly, hand blurring out to smack the cross away, out of Lex's hand, to go skittering across the floor way out of reach.

"Why do you think I'm not?" the vampire countered, advancing a step at a time until Lex's back was against the wall, two strong arms stretched out beside him, blocking his escape.

"Spike, it's me, Lex. It's okay," he tried to assure Spike, and hated the tiny nuance of fear he could hear in his own voice.

"I know perfectly well who you are, Lex," Spike told him, listening to the rapid heartbeat, the ragged breathing. "You're the Yank who brings my dinner. You don't even heat it up for me."

Lex's brain locked up on him as Spike leaned his face closer to Lex's, eyes searing into his, then raking his gaze down to Lex's throat, eyeing the throbbing there, pulsing beneath the warm flesh.

Spike inhaled, searching for the scent of blood and Lex. "Your blood is hot for me. You're hard for me, too, I can smell it."

Lex tried to stand away from the wall, but Spike pushed against his chest with one hand, knocking him painfully into the stone, wincing against the shock of pain in his head, but standing his ground.

"What would it take to get you to help me, Lex? Little lick? Little bite? You can't help me, can you? You just don't know how to tell me. You're not getting any of those things anyway. I've played second fiddle to an idiot tin soldier and the angst king of California. I'm not placing behind Farmboy."

It was at just that moment when the aforementioned farmboy burst into the room and grabbed Spike, flinging him away from Lex to land in a painful heap across the room.

"Clark, no!" Lex grabbed him frantically. "Stop! It's not what you think."

Clark froze for a moment, staring in recognition at the man crumpled on the floor, murmuring to himself about fiddles. He looked from Spike to Lex and back again, hurt and confusion on his face.

"What should I be thinking? He pushed you."

Lex ran a hand over his eyes tiredly. Seemed like this jig was up.

He laid a hand on Clark's arm firmly. "Please go and wait in the office for a minute. I'll be right there, and I'll explain."

Clark objected. "Lex, he's dangerous."

Lex shook his head. "Not to me, he isn't. Trust me, Clark. I'll be right there. Just wait. Please."

Clark did as Lex asked, and Lex waited until he thought Clark was out of earshot before he went over to Spike. The vampire had stopped mumbling by now, and Lex laid a hand on his arm gently.

"Spike," he said softly. "I'll heat it up from now on, okay?"

"Just get out. Leave me be," Spike whispered. "Don't forget to lock the bloody door." He snorted.

Lex's mind was racing on the way back to his office as a sudden breakthrough came to him. If he could show Clark that he, Lex, trusted him with an important secret, maybe Clark would feel obligated to reciprocate. And as he thought this, Lex suddenly knew what he was going to do about Fox Mulder.

Clark was pacing around impatiently when Lex walked into the office, and Lex held up a hand to silence the stream of questions he knew was coming as soon as Clark opened his mouth.

"Relax, Clark, I'll tell you the whole story."

Lex settled himself behind the desk, waiting until Clark decided whether he wanted to sit or stand, opting for the latter, bouncing lightly on the balls of his feet while he listened.

"Spike is a vampire. Yes, a real vampire," Lex assured him, when he saw the doubt cross Clark's face. "He has a chip in his head. A secret government device that prevents him from hurting any human being without considerable pain to himself. This was done to him by a secret organization called the Initiative. As a matter of fact, that's why the two F.B.I. agents were here. The Initiative is said to have folded, and its' scientists were thought to have gone to work secretly for someone very wealthy. Spike came here last year because I was on his list of men who might know where the scientists are, to see if he could get his chip removed. When he found out I didn't know anything, he left Smallville." Well, half-truths were better than none, Lex thought. "He's back now because something happened to him in Africa, and he has these delusional episodes as a result. He wants me to try to help him find the scientists, but I haven't had any success. As for the federal agents, they seem to think I'm hiding the old Initiative members, and I don't want the F.B.I. in Smallville. However, I think I just figured out a way to get them out of here for good."

Clark looked a bit flustered, trying to take this all in.

"It's a lot, I know," Lex remarked, getting up from behind the desk and coming around to stand closer, needing to feel that Clark wasn't ready to simply bolt from the mansion and never come back.

Clark shrugged. "It is a lot, Lex, but it's not anything worse than things we've already seen thanks to the meteors. But, why didn't you tell me before? Why didn't you tell me about Spike last year. And he said his name was William, then."

"That explains that," Lex said softly, remembering Spike's cryptic statement about there not being a William.

Clark looked at him quizzically.

"He must have been William before he was changed into a vampire. He told me there was no William."

"What are you going to do, Lex? What about the F.B.I.?"

"I'll make a deal with Agent Mulder. And I don't think I can help Spike. Even if I did know where those scientists are, which I don't, I wouldn't want to be responsible for getting that chip out and allowing him to murder freely again for countless years. But, thanks for the sudden rescue anyway." Lex said, getting a bit off the subject. "How did you know where I was?"

This made Clark slightly uncomfortable. He couldn't very well tell Lex he searched the castle for him with his x-ray vision when he saw Lex wasn't in his office waiting.

"I, um, I thought you might be off doing something, maybe forgot what time I was coming, so I was just walking around and heard you and Spike talking."

Lex nodded silently, not believing a word of it.

Clark was back the next afternoon at Spike's feeding time, wanting to take the now-warm bag of blood to the vampire himself.

"I just want to talk to him, Lex," he explained, when asked about his obvious enthusiasm. "Come on, he's a real vampire and he can't hurt me, you said so yourself."

Lex relented, but with reservations. "Listen at the door first," he cautioned. "If he's in there talking to himself, don't go in. If you're gone too long, I'm coming looking for you."

Clark smiled reassuringly. "He won't hurt me, Lex."

All was quiet when Clark listened at Spike's door, but he used his x-ray vision to peek inside first. Spike was sitting on the floor, staring at the far wall, cigarette burning forgotten between his fingers. Used to dealing with meteor freaks, Clark wasn't at all nervous about this meeting, was actually excited that he would be able to get close to someone like this and not have to suffer from meteor sickness.

He entered slowly, not wanting to startle Spike, and stopped in his tracks at the intensity of the blue gaze aimed his way at his entrance.

"Where's Lex?" Spike asked distrustfully.

"In his office," Clark hurried to assure him. "I wanted to bring this today. I heated it up this time, and I put it inside this insulated bag. It'll stay warm a long time. I just wanted..."

Spike stood abruptly and interrupted him. "Wanted to see the blood-sucking, souled demon? That it?"

"Yes. No. I wanted to see if you were really real." Clark took a step closer. "And I wanted to tell you that if you hurt Lex, I'll hurt you back. You know I can."

Spike laughed shortly. "Well, we both know why that is, don't we?"

"Because you can't hurt me. You have that chip in your head."

Spike walked around Clark slowly, measuring, calculating. "Wasn't the bloody chip that sent me sailing down the alley and into the flower shop, mate. I knew what you are the moment we shook hands in the coffee shop. You won't be needing to plan any hurt for me. I'm not going to do anything to Luthor, even though he wants me to."

Clark looked puzzled and Spike laughed again, more amused this time.

"Vampires can sense things, you know. Well, no I guess you don't, but I'm telling you. First time I saw you all in the coffee shop together, I knew everything that was going on here."

"And what's going on here?" Clark asked lightly, waiting to hear the Vampire Perspective of Smallville.

Spike hesitated. Then: "It's like me. You know, it's the person we love, not the outside appearance, but the inside soul. I went and got one, and I'm pretty sure it's not going to make any difference. But I have to go back anyway. I'm meant to be there. Others are meant for each other, too. Sometimes, out of the blue, I taste her skin. Just like that, it's there. If I never have her again, if I never even touch her again, I have to go back. I feel it. Just like I feel things here. Like I feel you. Why are you worried I'll hurt Lex? He's helping me."

"People Lex trusted have hurt him before," Clark replied. "You're not even human, and I wouldn't let you get away with it."

"Does Lex trust you?" Spike asked.

"We're best friends." Clark said simply.

"You'd never hurt him. Or betray him with lies."

"Of course I wouldn't," Clark objected, unable to meet the piercing blue gaze quite so steadily now.

"I saw you at the coffee shop last year, all drippy-eyed over that girl, what's her name, Lana?"

"You leave Lana out of this." Clark bristled, and Spike smiled in amusement.

"Word of advice, mate. Don't go for the sugarcane. She doesn't feel that way about you. You'd break her anyway. You need something stronger, more....resilient. More readily available to you, and a lot more interested."

"What are you talking about, Spike?"

Spike sighed in frustration. "Can't bloody see it, can you? That smile, just for you. That dropping everything if you walk in the place. There are other...options."

Clark blinked, something inside of him knowing where this was going, and something else telling him it wasn't true.

"What?" he asked.

The vampire shook his head. "Colonial dolt. Bloody innocent lamb running in the corn. Need it spelled out for you? There are other names that begin with an L, besides Lana."

Clark was shaking his head slowly. "Spike, that's not, that's...."

"Not true?" Spike finished for him, raised eyebrow indicating his total disbelief. "You think about it, Little McDonald. And while you're doing that, tell Luthor I want to see him."

Spike hadn't touched the bag of blood yet, Lex saw as he entered the room.

"You need something?" he asked. "More cigarettes? Radio?"

"You can't give me anything I need, Luthor," Spike told him ruefully. "I have to go back. I'm leaving. I just want to know if I should keep my eyes open for feds when I get back to Sunnydale."

"You don't have to leave, Spike. You can stay here until you get accustomed to, you know, the new soul. As for the feds, I'll have that taken care of in a few days. The feds won't be going to Sunnydale, won't ever hear about it."

Spike nodded. "Good, then. But I have to go back and face the Scooby music. I feel like things will be different now. Easier for me. I can't keep running away."

Lex smiled softly. "Are you sure? Things could be easy for you here."

"No," Spike refused. "I have to go back. I feel drawn, more every day. I want to tell you, though, I see things, when I'm, you know, not myself."

"Things?" Lex asked.

"Things. Like, I have to get back. Like you. You're bound to the boy, Luthor, one way or another. You have to decide. I'm leaving as soon as the sun goes down, and I'm never coming back."

Lex studied the face before him, the determination in the blue eyes, perfectly clear at that moment, absolutely lucid. Lex hoped they would stay that way. He held his hand out to shake Spike's colder one, grasping firmly in farewell.

"I hope you get everything you want, Spike. If you don't, you call me."

Spike smiled. "Thanks. And I won't. Call you, I mean. Get back to the boy. He's probably thinking I'm draining you dry by now."

Lex paused in the doorway to look back. "Good luck, Spike."

Spike waved his thanks and lit up another smoke as Lex disappeared, leaving the door open this time. He thought he would need a lot more than a Luthor good luck wish when he got back to the Hellmouth.