Ma petite ange de la morteby Mhalachai
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer belongs to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Anita Blake belongs to Laurell K. Hamilton. No profit has been made from this fic, and the only benefit to me is personal satisfaction and the creative process.
Notes: Set in London, just after Drusilla was vampirized.~*~
At Byron's exclamation, Jean-Claude looked up from the fine crystal glass in his hand, where he had been contemplating the smooth redness of the wine. "What is it, mon ami?"
Byron raised one thin eyebrow as he tilted his head up. "Angelus and his women have arrived," he muttered, so softly that Jean-Claude almost missed the venomous tone.
Jean-Claude glanced up briefly to see the infamous Irish vampire stride into the room, followed by two women. "I heard that it was Darla who has control of that particular kiss," he murmured to Byron.
The younger vampire stepped closer to Jean-Claude. "Being under the control of Darla would give any vampire nightmares," he said, shuddering faintly.
Jean-Claude laid his hand on Byron's shoulder. "I know of Angelus and of Darla," Jean-Claude said as the vampires in question came deeper into the room. "But what of the other?"
Byron smiled up at Jean-Claude, always eager to share the secrets he had heard in the dark from the women and men they seduced. "She is new, sired by Angelus. I heard that he turned her the day after she entered a convent to escape his wrath."
Jean-Claude made no outward sign, but he was inwardly disgusted by the actions of Angelus and Darla. To an incubus and a childe of Belle Morte, where power lay in seduction and careful manipulation, the way Angelus and his sire behaved was beyond crass. It bordered on dangerous, drawing the attention of the vampire hunters.
As Angelus and Darla finished speaking with the Master of London, Jean-Claude slipped away from Byron and headed for the balcony.
The haze over the city was not too thick, down here by the river, but the smells of humanity still reached Jean-Claude. He leaned on the stone railing and looked up at the stars, missing the French countryside, of clean night air, of looking up at the stars in the arms of those he loved.
But Julianna was gone, dead, and Asher was worse than lost. For a hundred years, Jean-Claude had stayed with Belle Morte, her price for saving Asher's life. A century later, Jean-Claude was free of her, and had fled, seeking something, anything, to drown out the memories of that which he had lost.
A soft noise behind him caused Jean-Claude to turn his head. Angelus's young vampire had crept up behind him on the balcony, her hands folded demurely at her waist. Her eyes were bright with the faintest edge of madness.
"Mademoiselle," Jean-Claude said in greeting. She was new, so young that to Jean-Claude's eyes she still moved like a human. Jean-Claude doubted that she had been taught the proper ways of acting around other vampires, not that Angelus or Darla had ever shown themselves to understand the concept of manners.
"I've seen her," the young woman said confidently, lifting her head.
Jean-Claude knew there was no one else on the balcony. "Who have you seen?" he asked.
The young vampire stepped carefully onto the stones of the balcony, raising her head to look up at the bright stars. "The woman you've hoped for."
Jean-Claude restrained an urge to lash out at the young one. He would probably damage her, and Angelus would demand reparation. "You should go inside, mademoiselle," he said shortly.
Instead of following his order, she let her hands fall to her sides. "She will be a dark angel, with porcelain skin," she said dreamily. "Her voice will draw you to her."
A spark of curiosity overrode Jean-Claude's irritation. He crossed the balcony to stand next to the young one. The stars seemed to have captured her whole attention.
"She will make you Master," the young vampire continued softly. "Master of city and plain, over the great river."
Master of a city? He had craved such power, to be able to hold a territory of his own. "Tell me more of this madness," Jean-Claude commanded.
The young vampire smiled as if she hadn't heard him. "Your little angel of death, she will kill the pale child to place you on your throne." The vampire raised her hands in front of her face and peeked out to the stars behind her fingers. "She will betray you with a kiss, but will sacrifice herself on your alter in hopes of a dark redemption."
Jean-Claude narrowed his eyes. He would owe his place as Master to someone who would betray him? "If I were Master, why would I tolerate such actions?" he demanded.
The young vampire whirled on him, holding up one finger as if scolding a child. "It's a secret!" she declared as she leaned in close, then whispered, "You will love her."
The young vampire jumped back, looking as contrite as a child at Angelus's annoyed call. The Irish vampire strode across the balcony and grabbed her arm.
"We're getting out of here," Angelus snapped. "There's no life to this party."
Completely ignoring Jean-Claude, Angelus pulled the young vampire, Drusilla, after him. She smiled at Jean-Claude as she was yanked through the door and out of sight.You will love her.
Drusilla's words echoed in Jean-Claude's mind. He turned back to the river, eyes not seeing.
Love. Jean-Claude had turned his back on love, as love had turned its back on him. But Drusilla's words, tinged with insanity, sparked something inside of him. He did not believe in fate, he reminded himself. But the thought that he might find someone, this dark angel Drusilla had spoken of, could give him the power he so craved...Ma petite ange de la morte