Title: More to Me Than You
Disclaimer: Anya (and everything Buffy) belongs to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Jean-Claude and the crew from Anita Blake's universe belongs to Laurell K. Hamilton.
Author's Note: AU for Anita Blake sometime after The Killing Dance, assuming that Anita left Jean-Claude to marry Richard. AU Buffy, where a human Anya left town after Xander left her at the altar.
Inspired by Jessica Andrew's "There's More to Me Than You (ballad version)."
Also inspired by Jinni's "Fill Up the Archive" challenge, though I don't think it technically counts, since I didn't use any of the scenarios/object groups listed for the challenge.
The trunk closed with a final snap, the sound loud in the mid-day silence. Not much activity at the Circus of the Damned at noon. All good little vampires snug in their coffins, pet werewolves asleep in their beds. Around here, even people who didn't turn into stone-cold corpses at sunrise kept nocturnal hours.
Which made noon the perfect time for my escape. If I were really brave maybe I would have left at night, told Jean-Claude to his face that I was leaving. Then again, if I'd told him I probably never would have left. One look in his beautiful blue eyes and I melted...and if he said something in his silky, sexy voice I was a total goner. He didn't even have to try to use his vampire wiles - which didn't work on me, being a former demon and all.
Even now, even knowing that he didn't love me - that he'd never loved me - I would have been willing to stay with just a word. I was that weak...at least where he was concerned. Maybe in other areas of my life, too. If I were strong enough, I'd never have been with him. But I never learned to stand on my own, not as a human.
As a demon I was invincible, immortal, with powers beyond the imaginings of everyday mortals. I changed worlds with a word, all through the power of the wish. I was cold, calculating, and totally devoted to the job. I was vengeance, and it served me well.
Until I became human. God, that sucked. Being seventeen again, trapped in a mortal body. I, who never had mercy for anyone was at the mercy of the world. And, for the first time, I had feelings, emotions I couldn't recognize but couldn't get rid of.
Like my love for Xander. Sweet, sexy Xander. The bastard that left me at the altar.
In hindsight, he did both of us a favor. I was losing myself, losing sight of everything the more I became wrapped up in him. When he held me I felt so safe, knowing that I'd never have to be alone.
The one thing I fear, more than anything else in the world? No, it's not bunnies, though they're a close second. I fear being alone. Spending the rest of my mortal life without anyone to love me, only to die a horrible, wrinkly death with no one to mourn my passing.
When I'd left Sunnydale and came to St. Louis I was alone. I'd left everything behind when Xander had left me. No matter how sorry they felt for me after he'd disappeared, all of my friends in Sunnydale had been his friends first. Eventually they'd side with him...that was a given. Even the Magic Box, my beautiful store, had been Giles' first. So I left it, too.
And I drifted, lost and alone, until I came to St. Louis. I was tired of running, tired of long nights on the road with nothing but the radio for company. I wanted to find somewhere I belonged, but first, I just had to find somewhere to stop running before my inertia carried me so far I lost sight of myself.
So I stopped. I got an apartment, and even though my impressive stock portfolio meant money would never be a problem, I got a job.
The logical thing for me to do would have been to find a job in one of the local magick shops, but after Sunnydale, I couldn't even think about selling Mugwort or mummy hands. Too many memories, you know?
So I got a job tending bar at a club called Danse Macabre. That's where I met him. Jean-Claude, master vampire of St. Louis. He'd walked in one night with his girlfriend, Anita Blake. There was just something about vampires and vampire hunters... look at Buffy and Angel, or Buffy and Spike.
It was obvious that he loved her. The way he watched her when she wasn't looking, with this light in his eyes, like she was the only thing in his life that had ever mattered. I remembered that look - Xander had looked at me like that once. Only, in my case, it hadn't lasted. For Jean-Claude, love was forever. He watched over her like she was this amazing person and he couldn't believe she really was his. Like he was afraid she'd leave if he took his eyes off of her.
The next time he came in he was alone, and the light was gone. As it turns out, love wasn't as forever for Anita - at least, not for Anita and Jean-Claude. She'd left him for her other boyfriend, werewolf king Richard.
He'd stopped at the bar, and we'd started talking. I hadn't shared much of my past with anyone, and no one around me had known that I was a hell of a lot older than I looked. But he had. Even before I'd saying a word he knew I was more than an ordinary human.
So we talked, long into the night until he had to hurry to make it home before dawn. Talked about lost loves, and past lives. About how the world had changed in the last hundred years and how people with a seventy-year life expectancy couldn't even hope to understand the concept of immortality. About my exciting new ideas to improve his club and make him bunches of money.
He came back when he could, and night after night we talked. Just talked, never anything more. Until one night he asked me to go home with him.
How could any girl resist his lure? Would take a stronger woman than me, that was for sure. He was the most gorgeous man I'd ever seen and he wanted me in his bed. In his life.
I wasn't alone anymore.
He became my life. I slept in mornings, spent my afternoons working on building him a financial empire - with plenty of monetary rewards for myself, of course, and my nights with him.
I'd never had such powerful orgasms before. He was clearly a masterful lover. His touch was magical, his strong fingers dancing over my skin, making me shiver with a desire beyond words. His lips reigned fire down my flesh, searing his possession into every cell of my body. His voice was so intense, I could climax just from hearing him speak. Not to mention the ardeur, running through us like a hot desert wind, whipping up a sensual frenzy like nothing I'd ever felt before. And when he bit me? I never thought I'd enjoy sharing my blood with a vampire before, but that in itself was positively orgasmic.
A shiver raced through my body just thinking about it. If I left him, I'd never know that kind of pleasure again. But if I stayed I'd never be whole.
Because I did it again, like with Xander. Devoted myself to Jean-Claude, and started to lose myself. His life was my life; his friends, my friends. But unlike Xander, one thing was missing... love.
We were together for three years, but Jean-Claude never loved me. How could he, when he was still in love with Anita? She was the other half of his soul and he'd never get over losing her. I was just the consolation prize.
And I could live my life that way.
So I waited until morning, when he was sleeping like the dead, and I packed up my stuff. The things that were really mine, not just the fancy dresses he'd bought me. Things I'd gotten myself, that were me, not the person he wanted me to be.
I could never be who he wanted me to be.
I climbed behind the wheel of my car. I wouldn't look back. Couldn't look back, because if I did, I'd never leave. But I had to. I had to find myself again, learn to live on my own. Because I refused to become dependant on a man again.
I blinked back tears as I watched the Circus get smaller in my rearview mirror. I didn't know where I was going, but I was going to be okay. There was more to me than Jean-Claude. I was going to make it on my own.