One of Those Girls
Living in Chaos
Summary: Willow just wanted to go on vacation, instead she was thrust into a world even stranger than Sunnydale.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, everything and every character belongs to their respective owners and I make no profit from this, no matter how much I wish that weren’t true( ‘cause I could use the cash).
Spoilers: I’m thinking Season 7 for Buffy and Season 3 for Smallville, nothing too specific for either one.
Author’s Note: Although this will take place after the finale for Season 7 of Buffy, Kennedy isn’t anything more than a friend. I have nothing against her, but she just doesn’t fit in this story. This is an answer to Jinni’s ‘Woke up in Vegas’ challenge (310).
1: One of Those Girls
She used to be such a morning person, once upon a time. She would drive her friends crazy with her pleasant chatter and all around perkiness at insanely early hours in the morning while they nursed their cups of coffee and glared at her wide smile and bright, fully awake and aware eyes. She would be able to form completely coherent sentences while Xander could only manage at best a one word answer, at worst an incoherent grunt.
That was no longer the case, hadn’t been in quite a number of years in fact, but rarely did she wake in the morning feeling as awful as she did that day.
Head pounding and stomach rolling, Willow fought to open her eyes, but the heavy weight of her eyelids kept that from happening. Rolling onto her back, one arm flung off to the side and landing amongst the rumpled sheets, the other coming to rub at her eyes, she groaned, grimacing at the decidedly foul taste in her mouth.
It was now official. Alcohol was an invention of the devil. She was never drinking again. This hangover put Buffy’s caveman drama to shame, she was sure of it.
Finally managing to crack open her eyes, her slightly blurry gaze fell on the ceiling above, which proved to be a rather bland shade of white. Her head lolled to the side and any further movement stilled when she caught a glance of the stunning sight of the Vegas strip pictured outside extravagantly decorated French doors that led out to a rather spacious and luxurious deck. She didn’t remember her motel room coming with a penthouse view.
“This isn’t my room,” she groaned, wincing at the sound of her cracked, husky voice.
“No, it isn’t.”
Willow’s head jerked toward the sound of another voice, her mouth drier than the Sahara when she spotted the man seated almost leisurely in an overstuffed armchair, a cup of coffee in one hand and a crumpled newspaper in the other.
He wasn’t particularly physically imposing. He looked like he could be tall, maybe Xander’s height or so, lean, any sort of muscles hidden behind an expensive looking silk shirt and black slacks. He was impeccably dressed, from shirt to shiny shoes, his expression carefully closed off and unreadable. If he wasn’t physically intimidating, he certainly made up for it in other ways. An arrogant eyebrow was raised in her direction as her brain fought to comprehend everything and she blinked as the rest of his face came into focus, her green eyes widening when she caught sight of the tell tale bald head.
“Holy crap,” she muttered, but he had to have heard her hushed words because a tight smirk broke out on his face.
She was in a hotel room with Lex Luthor. Buffy was so never going to believe her.
“You know who I am?” he asked tonelessly, seemingly bored by the entire situation, which she assumed could be totally possible. He was a freaking billionaire; he probably had one night stands all the time. Although, she mused with mortification, he probably hadn’t expected her to still be there when he woke this morning. She must have been out cold. Welcome to the wonders of tequila, she grimaced internally. She had never wanted to be one of *those* girls.
“Uh, yeah,” she nodded as best she could, which wasn’t very effective. “You’re kind of hard to miss.”
There he was again with the unreadable expression, only adding to her severe embarrassment.
“Well, as…humiliating as this is,” she smiled weakly, “you wouldn’t happen to know where my clothes are?” as she struggled to sit up in the king size bed, keeping the sheets wrapped tightly around her the whole time.
“I had some sent up,” he informed her dispassionately as he moved to stand, placing his coffee on the small table beside his chair and dropping the morning’s newspaper on the dining table as he headed for the closet a few feet from the bed and pulling out a respectable, if not conservative, button up blouse and trousers and laying them on the foot of the bed. Noticing her confusion, he glanced at her heatedly and stifled a pompous smirk. “Your clothes were a little...damaged.”
And her morning just kept getting worse, she thought as her face was no doubt reddening.
She was waiting for him to turn around or leave the room so she could get dressed, but he didn’t seem to be moving. That was until a shrill ringing could be heard coming from his pant’s pocket and Lex frowned, pulling out his cell phone and with one glance at the caller id he silently excused himself from the room to answer the call.
Burying her face in her hands, Willow took deep breaths as she struggled to remain calm. Maybe if she dressed quickly, she could slip out of the hotel room while he was busy with his call and she’d be gone before he knew it. Then she would just go back to her room and try to figure out how to explain to Kennedy where she was all night.
This had to be her punishment for doing something that was supposed to be fun and impulsive, she figured. Usually she was so levelheaded, if her little stint with the dark arts wasn’t taken into account, but now that the First had been defeated and the hell mouth was a big ole hole in the ground, she finally had time to do her own thing, to forget about being the responsible one and just go out, travel, get plastered and have fun.
After tonight she was never drinking again. Forget her utter mortification, Kennedy, her travel buddy, was never going to let her live this down if she found out where she had spent the night. Never mind what Buffy’s reaction would be if she ever found out.
Flopping around the bed as she tried to unwrap the sheets wound around her hastily, she finally managed to practically fall off the bed, slipping on the clothes laid out for her with sloppy speed. She wasn’t even sure if all the buttons of her blouse were in the right place, but she didn’t care.
Spotting her black heels sitting by the dining table, she rushed toward it, tripping over herself as she hopped on one foot to put her shoe on, later mimicking that same action with her other foot. As her balance wavered, her hands fell to the table to stabilize her and she came in contact with the rumpled local newspaper Lex had dropped there earlier.
“No…” she whispered almost inaudibly as her gaze fell to an obviously hurriedly added headline to the front page and the accompanying photo above it. Her smiling, if not inebriated face looked back up at her, her printed likeness pictured lazily embracing an equally smashed Lex Luthor. Grabbing the paper tightly and spinning around, bracing her back against the table so she didn’t fall as her knees grew loose and shaky, she scanned the small but prominently displayed article.
“Sin City Shocker as Lex Luthor Weds…” she mumbled, her eyes frantically darting about the page. “Billionaire and heir to the Luthor Corporation Lex Luthor surprised many as he and a yet unidentified woman strolled into the Chapel of Love late last night where the two were married before Minister John Schaeffer. Schaeffer admitted that even he was star struck when he spotted the notorious son of fertilizer tycoon Lionel Luthor and a young woman entering his chapel…” her words trailed off as she began to feel sick to her stomach.
She brought a hand to her mouth in shock, which she pulled back in surprise when she felt the cold touch of metal on her lip and she finally took notice of the gold and diamond ring on her left hand. Her face screwed up at the sight of it. It was a *little* gaudy in her opinion.
The sound of footsteps alerted her to Lex’s presence and she forgot all about her earlier plan to run away in shame as she nearly crushed the paper in her grip and took a panicked step toward him as he ended his call and slipped his phone back into his pocket.
“Tell me this is some sort of—-of joke,” she tried to ask calmly, but she knew she had failed. She deserved to be a little freaked out after all. At least she wasn’t hyperventilating. She wasn’t hyperventilating, was she?
“I can assure you, Miss—-?” he sighed, pausing awkwardly as her name escaped him.
“Rosenberg,” she filled in for him, closing her eyes tightly and exhaling sharply. He didn’t even know her damn name.
“Miss Rosenberg,” he finished, showing the first sign of true sympathy as he gave her an apologetic smile. “This isn’t a joke.”
“Okay,” she drawled, trying her best to quell her panic. “So we can just get an annulment or something right? This is Vegas, people do stupid stuff like this all the time,” she reasoned.
“I’ve been speaking with my lawyers,” he nodded, acknowledging her suggestions with a bow of his head, reminding her of his phone call minutes ago. “They are working to keep this as quiet as possible. As long as there are no unforeseen complications and the press, outside the city,” he amended when he thrust the newspaper at him incredulously, “hasn’t latched onto the story,” he said with obvious distaste, “I don’t see why not.”
“Good, good,” she murmured, letting the paper drop back onto the table. “So we can sign some papers and, you know, pretend like this never happened. No offense,” she added at his almost amused expression, “but I don’t remember *anything* that happened last night, let alone getting married. Plus, you’re uh…not really my type,” she rambled on.
“Really?” he interjected, not sure whether to laugh or take offense. “And what *is* your type?”
“Girls,” she couldn’t resist grinning at his surprised and shocked expression.
“That could work,” he mumbled, thoughts wandering. Willow only snorted. Typical.
“Nice to know all guys are perverts, money or not,” she snickered with a roll of her eyes and even a relatively stoic Lex couldn’t resist a small smile.
“Speaking of,” he approached the subject hesitantly; his earlier grin disappearing as he became more serious, “I’m sure we can reach an agreement on a settlement after the papers are signed—”
“Settlement?” she interrupted him in total confusion. “You mean you want to---what, pay me?” she asked incredulously.
“Well, you are *technically* my wife,” he reminded her succinctly. “As well, if the word does get out, no doubt the press will want to speak with you. I like to keep my personal affairs private, Miss Rosenberg. Consider it payment in place of money you would have received from any number of tabloids if you had granted them interviews. You will be well compensated, I promise you.”
“Compensated?” she repeated, jaw dropping. “I don’t want your money!”
“You don’t?” he asked doubtfully, taking in her obviously offended expression.
“No!” she practically screeched, too busy being angry to consider the possible ramifications of yelling at a man as powerful as Lex Luthor. “We’ve been married for like two seconds, I’m not going to ask for a-alimony or something,” she stammered. “I may not be filthy rich like *some* people, Mr. Luthor, but I don’t need your money. And I’m not going to go tattle to some tabloid because, honestly, I just want to forget this whole thing, as fun and completely embarrassing as it has been,” she finished in a huff.
It took Lex a moment to take in everything she had said, surprise and a tinge of amazement warring inside of him as studied her.
“Lex,” he stated finally, relaxing his stance a little and crossing his arms over his chest.
“Excuse me?” the redhead questioned, confused by his response.
“Call me Lex, Miss Rosenberg,” he advised with a nonchalant shrug. “We are married after all,” he jested, his tiny attempt to lighten the atmosphere and apologize for his automatic assumption.
“Then stop calling me Miss Rosenberg,” she said tentatively. “It reminds me of when I was in school. Just call me Willow.”
There was a moment of silence, as companionable as it could be in that sort of situation, until Willow gave up and finally spoke, her hands twisting in front of her. “So…when are your lawyers coming by?”
Lex glanced at his watch. “Any minute now. I’ve had them pretty busy this morning,” he smirked tiredly. That was the understatement of the year. He was going to have to give them a huge bonus at the end of the fiscal year. It was no easy task to corral the press and ‘convince’ them to remain silent, not to mention all the while drawing up the proper papers he and Miss Rosenberg, Willow he reminded himself, needed to sign. His bank account was surely going to take a hit; he just had to make sure his father didn’t notice it.
The ringing of is phone once again broke through the silence and he offered the lithe redhead a slight smile as he flipped open the phone and answered, assuming it was his lawyer.
“Luthor,” he stated authoritatively.
“Lex,” the slow, familiar drawl on the other end of the line caused Lex to hide his cringing and his eyes flitted to the girl watching with interest. Placing his hand over the mouthpiece, he sighed.
“I have to take this…” he said, Willow nodding understandingly as she moved to take a seat in the armchair he had vacated earlier that morning and he stepped out of the bedroom and into the living room of his penthouse suite.
Suitably alone, he removed his hand and braced himself for a discussion he was certain he wasn’t going to enjoy.
“Dad,” he replied, sounding less than pleased.
“Lex,” Lionel Luthor repeated, seeming suspiciously upbeat, almost smug. “You’ll be heading back to Smallville as scheduled this afternoon, correct? I assume the convention went as planned.”
As yes, the convention, he grimaced. The whole reason he had hopped on the Luthor Corp jet to Las Vegas in the first place. He had no desire to go to some business convention as the head representative of the crap factory his father had placed him in charge of. Vegas was too loud, too crowded, too superficial, just too much. He had gotten enough of all that in his younger days in Metropolis. His father didn’t seem to care.
“It was fine, the shareholders were quite pleased,” he droned emotionlessly. “Luthor Corp stocks will no doubt be soaring by the end of the week,” he added dryly.
“Good to hear, son,” he congratulated with little fanfare.
“What is this about dad?” Lex decided to just lay it all out on the table. “I doubt you called simply to check up on me. You’ve hardly been concerned with my well being before.”
“Lex,” he grunted in annoyance with a sigh. “Tell me son, have you seen the news this morning?” he asked almost cheerily.
“I’ve been busy,” he replied shortly.
“I’m sure,” Lionel said derisively. “Since you seem eager to know the purpose of my call, I merely wished to congratulate you.” Lex went stalk still. “It is not everyday my son gets married…well, in your case that may not be true,” he added snidely. “No matter, it is still an occasion worth celebrating.”
“Imagine my surprise,” Lionel cut him off without apology, “when waking this morning to be informed that not only has my son gotten married---again---but to some girl from Nowheresville, California who he met in a bar the night before. Really Lex, I thought I taught you to be more discrete.”
“You’ve done a background check on your new daughter-in-law already, father?” he said smartly.
“Of course,” he acknowledged blandly. “As have you.” Well, Lex couldn’t really deny that. He wanted to know what kind of girl he was dealing with. Anyone could hardly blame him. But from the initial reports, he saw little that would be worrisome, but that was only the cold hard facts so far.
“Are you spying on me?” Lex asked emotionlessly, remembering his father’s comment about where he and Willow had met.
“Really Lex, spying?” he sighed in disappoint. “That is a rather crude term. You didn’t think I would let you go without some sort of…supervision, did you? You tend to get yourself into…troubling situations. This time proved to be no different I see.”
“Save the lecture dad,” Lex advised, his tone biting. “We’re signing the annulment papers as soon as my lawyers finish drawing them up. You can reprimand me when I land in Smallville this evening.”
“On the contrary,” Lionel said breezily, “the media is having a frenzy with this Lex. Getting married so soon after that mess with Dr. Bryce. Yet another marriage dissolving would only damage your image, son.”
“And in turn the image of Luthor Corp,” Lex sneered. “The media shouldn’t even be involved. I’ve had my lawyers working to control the press since I woke this morning.”
“Ah yes…I believe that I am to blame,” Lionel admitted, sounding more pleased than sorry. “I had no idea you were trying to keep this whole affair quiet,” he lied smoothly. “I received a call this morning from a lovely fellow at CNN and gave him a quote before I even thought to speak to your lawyers. It was all a mistake on my part.”
“I’m sure,” he bit back an angry and frustrated growl. “And what do you propose I do, father?”
“Exactly what you are scheduled to, Lex. Pack your bags, go to the airport, board the Luthor Corp jet and meet me in Smallville,” Lionel said with the ultimate ease. “With your new bride in tow, of course…”
A/N: So this is my first Smallville fic, but I've grown to adore that show so I had to try one. Believe or not I am going to try and keep this a short one, no more than 10-15 parts (which everybody may not consider short but for me it is :) First chapters are always difficult but I expect it to really pick up in the next couple of chapters. As always, feedback is very much appreciated.