Title: Blood, Roses, and Everything in Between
Author: Jinni (email@example.com)
Genre: BtVS/AB Crossover.
Disclaimer: All things BtVS belong to Joss Whedon, et al. All things AB belong to Laurell K Hamilton, et al.
Distribution: WLS, WLF, NHA, BMP, Aislin, TTH, TQC
Author’s Notes: Quickie Challenge fic – http://quickie.moonlitpaths.com
Notes2: This is for the list member who sent me a recipe. See! Joining my list and participating in topics gets you prezzies!!!
“You’re dating the undead, Will, what do you expect – roses?”
“Yep. Blood, roses, and everything in between,” the red head giggled. “But, Buff, he’s so cold, so distant. Like I’m some trophy to be at his side, a prize to show off to the other members of his society.”
“Then get out while the getting’s good,” the Slayer murmured, the sound coming across the phone line as something only just short of a whisper. “You deserve better than what he’s giving you – come home to us.”
Willow sighed, nodding and murmuring her agreement. But she enjoyed her time spent with her vampire, even if he treated her more like a carnival prize than a girlfriens.
And even as she hung up the phone, the witch knew she wouldn’t be going home.
She’d stay right where she was.
Jean-Claude sighed, leaning against the wall. He shut his eyes, ignoring the burning pain in his chest, where his heart was. This was what love was, no? The pain and pleasure, all wrapped up into one thing until you can’t see the end anymore. Wasn’t that what it meant to be in love?
And didn’t he love the witch in the next room?
He was doing something wrong, if her conversation with her friend was any indication. He purchased her things – clothing, jewelry. Was that not love?
She wanted roses.
He sighed. At what point had he lost the romantic streak that had been ingrained in him for decades upon decades? Was it during that ill-fated romance with Anita, the one that ended so badly? Had he forgotten how to woo a woman simply because he had not had a woman to woo?
There was no excuse for it, either way.
He did love her.
Now he just had to prove it to her.
Willow woke the next evening well past her normal time, wiping the dried tears from her face. Her head was pounding from crying herself to sleep hours before. She sighed, pushing herself into a sitting position, her silk nightie bunching up uncomfortably.
Her green eyes darted around the room, from bouquet to bouquet of roses. White, red, yellow, and a color she could almost swear was black. There were some that were red with white stripes, and others that were peach. It was a veritable rainbow of roses, without the blues and greens, of course. Though. . . there were some bordering on violet. She stumbled from the bed, reaching for the first bouquet with a trembling hand. They were so pretty, so fragrant. It was hard to imagine how she hadn’t been woken up by the sheer overwhelming scent of them all.
The card that she plucked from the roses was simple, scribed in a handwriting she knew all too well.
You mean the world to me. Believe it.
She felt a flush of warmth roll over her. This had to be the first time that she had ever gotten something so simple and romantic from Jean-Claude. It was so sweet, so utterly unlike the vampire she had come to know.
It made her happy.
A giggle escaped from her lips before she could stop it, something altogether girlie and unbefitting her role as the Master of the City’s chosen lady. She let it pour out of her, feeling better for allowing such an action. There was no need to be so high-class in her bedroom, where no one could see her.
Each bouquet had a different note, all written in that same flowing script. ‘I love you’, one said. ‘You are mine forever,’ another whispered to her. It was as though he was there with her at moments, just over her shoulder, reinforcing his notes with whispered words of affection.
He had to have overheard her conversation only the day before with Buffy. That was the only explanation for his newfound sense of wooing. It should have made her feel guilty, or embarrassed – but it didn’t.
Willow could only feel triumphant.
She had said blood and roses.
Did she realize the significance of blood to a vampire?
They had made love countless times before and never once had he fed from her out of a sense of honor. He cared for her. She was not food and, no matter how much he wanted to, he would not taste of her essence until she was ready.
Well, perhaps tonight she would be ready.
There was something different about the Circus tonight Willow knew the moment she stepped out of her bedroom. The overall atmosphere of rush and haste was not present. There were no performers begging use of the bedrooms and bathrooms of the private portion of the Circus. In fact. . .
She tilted her head to the side.
Was the Circus. . . Nah, couldn’t be.
Why would the Circus be closed on a Wednesday night?
Willow shivered, disliking this feeling that the emptiness brought to her. It was amazing the little things one got used to without even realizing it – such as the background noise of the Circus. Without that noise she felt suddenly very alone in a big, scary world.
She threaded her way through the halls, walking slowly, trying to get a glimpse of whatever it was that was causing this place to be so . . . dead.
If that wasn’t a bad choice of words she didn’t know what was.
The door to Jean-Claude’s office was open and she could see him there, sitting behind his desk. His feet were propped up, their bareness shocking. It was so rare that he let himself go like this, free and wild, without getting all dolled up for business or for the masses. She smiled.
“Thank you for the roses.”
“You are most welcome, ma chere.”
She blushed. Those French words were always so pretty, so lovely. And he had this way of saying them that just cut straight through her skin, down into her body, and played with her heart.
“The Circus . . . is it. . .”
“Closed. It is closed for the night. The performers have been sent out to. . .relax.”
If she didn’t know better, Willow would have said that Jean-Claude looked nervous. But she did know better, or thought she did.
“Because I have something special planned for tonight, something I did not want anyone else around for.”
She shivered under the weight of his voice. It had a purring lilt that made her wet with need, shivery with desire.
“And. . . what would that be?”
Great, it was a struggle just to speak with him looking all predatory stalker-like.
“I occurred to me, ma petite, that you and I have never gotten . . . close.”
“Then I’d like to know who that other vampire that’s been sleeping with me has been. Because he certainly is a winner in the bedroom.”
“This is not time for joking, Willow. Do you want me or do you not?”
If he hadn’t been so serious she would have taken it as a slap in the face. Of course she wanted him. In every way possible.
“Yes, of course.”
He smiled, briefly.
“Then will you allow me to taste you?”
She caught her breath, the air lodging somewhat painfully in her throat. He wanted to. . . but . . .
“You’ve never wanted to before,” she whispered. “Why now?”
The look of incredulity on his face was enough to tell her she had made an error somewhere in her line of thinking.
“I have never wanted to?” he asked, his eyebrows flying into his hairline. “Petite, where did you get that idea? I have wanted to taste of your essence since the first time we met.”
Willow shivered, taking an unconscious step towards him. She wanted this, wanted to be so intimate with the one she loved. But –
“I love you.” She admitted aloud to him for the first time, watching his face carefully.
“And I you.”
He took her into his arms and no further words were spoken.
Love didn’t require words.
And blood told nothing but the truth.