Blood, Guts, & Roses


Disclaimer: I own nothing in this story. Please don't sue.
Notes: This a response to the "Strange Love" challenge at Estepheia's site.
Challenge: Try and write a Very fluffy and romantic fic (no angst. just cute maybe slightly heart wrenching love story). But here's the catch the 'ship in the fic has to be something unusual from this list
Giles and Mrs. French (The Mantis Lady from season 1)
Faith and Dracula
Wesley and Drusilla
Anya and the Judge (from season 2)
Jonathon and Glory
Try and make it as romantic as you can without betraying the characters.

Second note: I re-edited this fic and rewrote some parts, I'm still considering writing a REAL sequel to this fic and not just an abstract series. I'll make that decision based on feedback from readers.


Part One

"Can I come in?" Faith asked meekly. She stood outside Buffy's house getting soaked in the late night downpour. This was not a surprise, Angel had to let them know that she was coming to visit, but still it was a shock to see her after so long.

"Yes, come in," Buffy stuttered after realizing she was keeping her waiting in the rain, "So how was prison?" It was a stupid thing to ask but she didn't know any other more appropriate questions.

"It was good." Faith shrugged. "Listen, Buffy I just want to say."
"Don't." Buffy smiled and held her hand up, "I forgive you."
That was all Faith needed to hear. She didn't even know she was crying until the first sob escaped her lips. For a moment she considered hiding her emotions behind a wall of bravado like always, but the urge passed and she decided to just let the tears fall down her cheeks. "Thank you so much." Faith reached out to hug Buffy and the two of them embraced like long lost sisters who had finally reunited. After a few minutes Faith pulled away and smiled. "Geez B, don't get all mushy on me."
"Wow, Faith, way to kill a happy mood." Buffy laughed as she walked up the stairs carrying Faith's bags, "Come on, I'll show you your room."


From across the street, standing in the driving rain, a pair of eyes watched the house intently. The Vampire that owned the eyes felt his stomach tie in a knot. Sure he was glad that his Slayer had found some happiness after all her recent pain, but that was no reason for him to stop wanting her.
And he desperately
Wanted her.
Needed her.
The wind blew and splattered some of the falling rain on to his already soaked face. The moonlight shone on the water droplets, making his pale skin glow with an unmatched beauty. He dared to walk up to the window, being careful not to be seen. He saw her talking with the other Slayer.
But that was what he loved about her, the way she LIVED. Actually, he had found that he loved just about everything about her.
Every since their single wonderful night together he had become obsessed. Every time he went to sleep he would awake an hour later with her name on his lips. She was imprinted in his skin and burned into his memory. Her face had made a permanent home in his memory and her smell was something he would know from across an ocean. He was hopelessly in love with her.
It was driving him mad.
He saw the two Slayers go upstairs and turn out the downstairs light. His heart broke because he knew he wouldn't see her for the rest of the night. He pressed his hand against the glass willing her to come back. But it was, sadly, in vain. He knew there was no need to see her now, He would confront her with his love another night. For now she deserved a night to her self.


Faith had decided to just unpack her pajamas and leave the rest for tomorrow. She looked around the attic/loft that Buffy had made into her bedroom. It was nice and cozy. Like a safe haven. This probably was the nicest place she had ever slept in.
Well, that was simply untrue.
Or maybe not, technically she hadn't done very much sleeping when she was at his house. His house. Funny, she had come to think of it as their house. After the way they had wiped every surface of that castle with their passionate lovemaking, she felt like a co-owner of the place.
Part of her was very sad about how things had ended between them, but the other part was long since jaded in affairs of romance. Sex held no mysteries for her.
No matter how good he had been.
Still, she hoped he was alright at least. Happy and knee deep in all the blood he could drink.
She placed a hand on the single window in her room.
"Good night Vlad," Faith whispered, "Where ever you are."


Count Dracula took one final longing look at the house before turning into a bat and flying away. This was far from over. He had been inside her and he was not willing to give up a paradise like that so easily.
He would not lose her.
His beautiful.. wonderful..


Part Two

It was the "insipid mortal" part of that sentence that caught Spike's attention. Where had he heard that before? It wasn't Angelus and it certainly wasn't Drusilla. So who had he heard say that?
"You, serving wench, tell me, have you ever made love to a prince?"
Oh bloody hell! He suddenly remembered whose voice that was. What in God's name was he doing in a bar? He thought that wanker had taken the first bloody train out town.
At the end of the bar sat Count Vladimir Tepes Dracula.
And he was stone drunk.


Faith hadn't been to a Scooby meeting since before the coma. She had a feeling that she hadn't missed much. All the uncomfortable feelings were returning. Only this time they were far worse.
Willow spent the majority of the night giving her dirty looks. Xander was a little fearful of what she would do to him and had spent the entire evening avoiding her like she had leprosy. Dawn had never liked her and probably never would. In fact, the only two people who had shown her any kindness since returning were Giles and Buffy.
It had been nice of Giles to come all the way from England just to make Faith feel welcome and she had certainly appreciated it. But that didn't make her feel any less lonely.
"Hey Faith! You comin?" Buffy had been pushing all night for Faith to go on patrol with her tonight. It was part of her 'Get Faith out of the house' campaign. Apparently risking her life against the forces of darkness was better then sulking around the house and wallowing in guilt.
"Come on Faith, it'll be fun."
Faith just sighed. "I'll be right there."


After what had to have been his four hundredth drink, Dracula stumbled from the demon bar into the street. He knew that acting like a drunken fool was definitely not the way to his beloved's heart, but he couldn't help him self. Losing Faith had left a hole in him and he felt that the best way to fill that hole was with copious amounts of grain alcohol. It was beyond his understanding how he could have fallen for this young, brash street urchin with a dubious past.
First of all, she wasn't his type. Dracula liked innocent women, chaste women and Faith was far from innocent. She had slept with half the male population of the Western seaboard and had committed more felonies then an entire organized crime family. Nothing about her was innocent and yet there was something deep inside her. Something so beautiful that he had felt unworthy of even putting his hands on her. He knew it was wrong for him to be so in love with this girl, this Slayer, but he didn't really have a choice in the matter.
Taken another sip of his half-empty wine bottle, Dracula stumbled into a cemetery. He didn't feel like going home to that big house right away. The Sisters had been getting worried about his sulking lately and it would've been wrong to upset them further by coming home in this state. He chuckled a little at that thought.
The Sisters had recently informed him that they missed her as well. She was probably the first person to acknowledge them as separate people since they had been turned. She was kind to them and even played chess with them. Dracula mused that maybe they had fallen for Faith as hard as he had.
Dracula had just passed a row of large crypts when he heard the deep guttural voices of demons gathered in the shadows.
"Shut up! I'm in charge now do what I say!" one voice said in a rough baritone. Another voice muttered "Yeah but would it really killed you to have brought more guys?"
A pause passed between the voices as they sniffed the air "Someone's coming."
Taking that as his cue, Dracula fumbled through the underbrush into the clearing. "Now what is going on here?" he said attempting to straighten up and show his nobility, which was a hard task after all the drinking he'd done tonight.
In the clearing was a small army of demons from nearly every sentient species, about fifty in all. They stood in a semi-circle surrounding the entrance of the clearing. It seemed, at least to a man trained in the military like Dracula, that these demons where preparing an ambush of some sort. A clumsy, sloppy ambush.
But an ambush none the less.
The lead demon spoke up with a smile on his face, happy to see a fellow creature of the night. "Ah good, a vampire. You can join us. We'll need all the help we can get for the attack."
"Attack? What attack?"
"On the Slayers stupid! Where have you been? It's all over town!"

Dracula was stunned. These lesser 'Things' had decided to band together in an assault on the Slayers. It was really very funny when he thought about. "Let me get this straight." Dracula said, desperately trying not laugh, "You morons are going to start a fight with the Slayers?"

The Lead Demon looked a little confused "We aren't gonna fight them man, we're gonna kill'em. Both of them."
A wave of rage overcame Dracula and he started to shake. They wanted to kill The Slayers.
His Slayer.
He didn't give a damn about Buffy, they could kill her and hang her from a tree. But they also wanted to kill Faith.
His Faith.
Dracula's lips curled in anger.


An hour later on patrol, Buffy and Faith were engaged in a conversation of world-shaking importance. "What do you mean you've think Titanic is stupid?" Buffy was beside her self, "It's the greatest movie ever made!"
"Look B, that whole doomed love thing might work for you but I prefer." Faith stopped mid sentence when she saw what was sitting in the clearing ahead of them.
A small forest of impaled demons, nearly every size and shape, as far as the eye could see.
Faith knew where she had seen this before.
He's here.


Part Three

The massive amounts of hard liquor flowing in Dracula's veins were finally beginning to take their toll. So the Dark Prince had decided that instead of going home it would be better to just find a crypt and go to sleep. As he looked for a suitable shelter, he thought about what he had done. All those demons he had killed.
His own kind.
They should have been his allies and yet he did the same to them as he had done to the Turks all those years ago. He made them enemies. To make matters worse, the only reason he did it was because they wanted to kill HIS Slayer. The very woman he should have been trying to kill himself. But all he wanted to do was keep her alive and happy even if he could not have her.
It was pure insanity.
And yet, He knew that tomorrow he would probably kill another poor group of demons simply to keep his beautiful Faith alive another night. In fact, he had a special target in mind next evening. A demon that specialized in killing Slayers and had already killed two. An old friend of his named William the Bloody or Spike, as he preferred to be called.
While Dracula had not seen Spike in a great many years, it made sense that he was only to town put a another Slayer shaped notch on his belt. Naturally, Spike would have to die in order to keep his beloved Faith alive.
Dracula stopped at a small crypt with a loose door. He took a minute before breaking in to chuckle at the sheer cosmic coincidence of the name on the front.
It said Reinfield


Buffy was stunned "What the hell could have done this?"
The smell from the many, many impaled demon corpses had begun to waft through the cemetery into the night air. Despite the short time that they had been dead, some of them had already begun to decompose. Their stink almost seemed to infect everything it touched.
But Faith didn't care about the smell or about Buffy's tirade that addressed the possibility of some creepy Hannibal Lecter-type demon hunter coming to town and nobody telling her.
She was too preoccupied with the fact that her Prince had followed her. After all the things she said to him, he still loved her enough to follow her around. It was a little creepy and also...
...kinda sweet.
"Faith are you listening?"
"Wha-What?" Damn she did again.
Buffy looked a little concerned for her friend "Faith? Are you okay?" She put her arm around her and leaned closer, "Why don't you go home get some sleep, I'll fill you in later on what the gang thinks about..." she motioned to the horrifying sight before them. "...This."
"Yeah sleep. That's good." Faith muttered.


The Sun had already raised well into the sky before the entire gang made it to the Magic Box.
And after hearing Buffy's story of the previous night's events, Giles had wished he wasn't there at all.
In fact, he wished he was still in England.
"So you say these were demons?"
"Not a human among the whole impaled bunch," Buffy said, "So any ideas?"
Naturally everyone had their own independent opinion.
"Must be the Initiative." Giles muttered
Xander shrugged, "Initiative."
"The Initiative." Willow stated
"The Easter Bunny."
Everyone just turned and looked at Anya like she had grown another head.
"Hey, it is the Hellmouth."
Buffy shook her head and persevered. "Whatever. Listen what ever did this is dangerous, so you guys should start being more careful."
Xander leaned back in his chair and smiled "Oh come on Buff, if something happens you'll swoop in and kick a little demon ass like always."
Spike burst through the front door, smoke rising from his hair.

"Speaking of demon ass..." Xander said through is teeth.
"Ha-bloody- ha, you great Poof. Now if you'll excuse me I have some important info for The Slayer." The Vampire muttered in Xander's direction.
Buffy really wasn't in the mood for Spike's pathetic attempts at romance and it annoyed her that he couldn't take a hint. "What is it Spike?" she grumbled
Spike winced at the sound of her voice. Ever since that night they made love, Buffy had been increasingly harsh to him and it broke his heart that she still didn't acknowledge his feelings. He was tempted to just go home and dust himself out of pity. But right now he had a job to do.
"Buffy, Dracula's back."


Count Dracula sat in his temporary crypt, sharpening the small fighting sword he always kept on his person. He smiled.
Spike was already dead.


Part Four

Spike looked around the room at the shocked faces appreciatively. At least he finally had them listening to his every word.
"Spi-Spike, are you sure?" Giles tried to make that sound dignified but his throat went dry all of a sudden. The Vampire gave The Watcher an annoyed look "Sure I'm Bloody sure. He was my number one rival in Europe for thirty god damn years. I know his pretty boy mug like the back of my hand." The room fell silent once again as the news that the most feared vampire in history had returned to Sunnydale sunk in.
"Well at least we know who killed all those demons." Willow's soft voice cut the silence as the poor witch tried to find the silver lining.
Buffy ran her fingers through her hair "Yeah but why would he do that? I thought demons stuck together." Spike just snickered from the corner "God, you have learned nothing from me have you?" He walked over to the rest of the group and sat down in the nearest chair. "If a demon wants somethin' then he gets it, by hook or by crook."
Giles scratched his head "That may indeed be true but what does he want?"
Spike just shrugged and lit a cigarette. "Don't know, but I'm guessin' you'd better circle the wagons."


Faith didn't awaken from her nap until just after the sun went down and even then she was slow to move from the bed. Memories came flooding back of another time when she had been slow to get out of bed. That single morning when she laid her head on the chest of her handsome, Slavic prince while he whispered sweet nothings about how alive he made her feel. "Vlad." she whispered his name like some kind of prayer.
"Yes, Faith?" Some prayers were meant to be answered.
Faith shot up and looked around the attic search for him with her eyes. She found him looking on her through the open skylight on the roof.
She noticed he didn't look as fresh as usual, not as well kept or dressed to the nines. But he was still handsome.
Still very handsome.
"What in the hell are you doing here?" Faith yelled, trying to sound angry but inside she felt like singing. He was here! Her Dark Prince had followed her all the way from LA.
She closed her eyes. NO! I have to be strong. She thought
Dracula noticed her indecision on the subject, he noticed her pain. He cleared his throat and began speaking softly in his thickly accented voice, hoping to explain himself.
" I heard you got out of prison on good behavior." He whispered sheepishly, "I was in the neighborhood and I thought..." He kicked himself.
That sounded stupid.
Totally unlike him.
His voice wasn't confident or commanding and he simply wasn't being himself. What the hell kind of vampire was he? Had he become like Angelus? A cautionary tale for fledglings about falling in love with a Slayer.
Faith's voice shook Dracula out of his reverie "Yeah, well, you should get going, D," She said with a little mirth, "Cause if last night was any indication, you haven't been playing well with others." He smiled back at her, seeing the humor "I had hopped to travel incognito," He shrugged " but sadly I lost my temper." Faith laid back on the bed and stared up at him until she broke out in fits of soft, feminine giggles "What happen? They make fun of your accent?"

Dracula sobered immediately. "No' He whispered, "They were going to kill you."
Faith sighed. She had been afraid of this. The nurturing, the protecting. Just another thing she'd never received from a man in love with her. In fact, she'd never had a man love her.
Another first.
"I can take care of myself." She said keeping herself neutral, trying not to be over whelmed.
Again, Dracula felt sheepish. "I know. After all those things you said, I know." He whispered, "But I didn't want you dead."
"I love you." There they were those three deadly words. The ones that always seemed to find Buffy or Angel or Cordelia or even Giles but never her. They'd finally arrived.
And they came from the lips of the last God Damned person in the universe she, or anyone for that matter, would have expected them to come from.
Faith suddenly remembered why they couldn't be together; she didn't deserve this. He was so wonderful, so handsome. Dracula was the perfect man, he was a literal prince.
He shouldn't have to sully himself with some trailer-trash whore who would probably just cheat on him the moment his back was turned. It wasn't fair to him and it was far more then she deserved.
Dracula felt his heart break. Not again he thought. "Faith pleas-"
"I said leave, you stupid piece of shit!" she said coldly. Faith saw the sad look on his face and laughed, "What? You thought you were different? That it meant something? God, how stupid are you? I've fucked lotsa guys Vlad and let me tell you... I've had better." Then she rolled over, refusing to look at him.
Dracula had heard this from her before it. It wasn't new. But it still hurt. Slowly, He got up and transformed himself into a cloud of mist, letting the wind take him from this place of pain.
When she was sure he was gone, Faith got out of bed. She walked into the bathroom and locked the door behind her.
Then, she started to cry.


Dracula re-materialized in the cemetery, readying himself for the coming task. He tried desperately to forget the words used by his beloved. He knew the real reason why she said those things, He didn't deserve her.
Why would a beautiful goddess like Faith want to have anything to do with a lowly piece of demonic scum like him? In his entire life, Dracula had never felt unworthy of anything. He hadn't felt unworthy when he became ruler of a small but wealthy province. He hadn't felt unworthy when he became the most infamous vampire of all time. But now, with Faith, he felt unworthy.
She humbled him somehow.
Dracula let his sense extend through the cemetery, looking for his prey. According to his sources Spike was seen in this area twelve nights in a row. It stood to reason that he would show up again.
"Buffy, please wait!" Spike's voice floated on the wind to Dracula's ears.
He smiled.


"Shut up, Spike" Buffy just kept walking away from the source of her aggravation. Her back turned completely. Why didn't he take a hint? She didn't want to see him. She didn't love him. She couldn't if she wanted to, not that she did.
Really, she didn't.
Buffy turned when she felt a firm hand on her shoulder. "Listen Spike.." It wasn't Spike.
Behind her, standing in all his glory, was Dracula. Her breath caught in her throat. At his feet, lay Spike. He was clearly unconscious with a knife in his back. Pure fury burned in the Count's eyes.
"It is a true pity you decided to be here tonight." He said.
Dracula's body blurred with movement. Buffy didn't even have time to react before the darkness overcame her.


Part Five

The voice sounded distant to Spike as he awoke from the haze, like someone was calling to him from across a great distance.
This time he was a little bit more awake and the voice only sounded like it was submerged in water.
He awoke with a shock, eyelids bolting open. Beside him he saw the source of the voice, Buffy, was sitting with his head in her lap. He focused on her face and smiled "Beautiful..."

Buffy rolled her eyes, "Oh god, shut up Spike!" the Slayer muttered down at his limp form. It was at this point that he noticed the pressing fog inside of his head. "Whot'z all this?" his voice came out all slurred and badly phrased, like he was drunk. That was funny, he didn't remember drinking.
He tried to get up, but his limbs felt like jelly. Buffy saw his attempts to stand and slowly pushed him back down. "No, don't try to move," she said "Dracula injected you with something that's why you feel like this. He said he'd be coming back with his 'Special' tools." Spike groaned he knew what that meant. Dracula was out getting his favorite torture kit, he was probably going to come back here and...He just did want to think about that. His life sucked!
"I want to die."
It was the desperation in his voice that touched Buffy. She got the feeling he was serious. "Hey, come on, don't talk like that..."

Spike just shook his head "No it's true. I want to die." The bleached blonde vampire just rolled over, trying not to let the Slayer see him like this. "Everything in my life has gone wrong. First, I fall for you. Then, Drusilla left me. Then, I lose the Gem of Amara..."
"Wait a minute!"
Buffy was stunned. "Did you say you fell in love with me BEFORE you broke up with Drusilla?"

Spike put his finger to his lips in a goofy attempt to quiet her down. "Yeah, but don't tell anyone it's a secret."
Buffy smiled wickedly. The stuff Dracula injected him with must do something to Spike's will, making him say what ever was on his mind. "Spike..." she whispered,
"What else haven't you told me?"


Xander stumbled nervously through the door of Buffy's house. Of all the people to get chosen for Faith guard duty, they picked him. "Faith?"
There she is, sitting alone on the couch... in total darkness.
Nothing scary about that.
"Well, everything looks okay here, so I'd better get going..."
"No!" For the first time, Faith stepped into the light and Xander got a clear look at her. She looked terrible. "I'd like someone to talk to." Her eyes were red and lined with dried tears, she had been crying. Xander had never seen her like this. She looked almost childlike.
"Sure." Xander said a little scared, "What do you want to talk about?"


Dracula began sorting through his various torture devices, trying to find his all time favorite ones.
Tongue extractor....
Barbed whip....
And that special knife made specifically for removing a person's intestines.
He was all set for a night of fun and bloodshed, all he needed to do was sling his duffel bag...
The Count groaned. He couldn't turn into mist while holding a large bag and turning into a bat would be impossible since he couldn't carry anything without hands. He was going to have to... walk.
It was disgraceful, a Prince of Wallachia forced to cart his own baggage around like a bellboy.


"DRACULA!?" Xander was beside himself with shock.
"Xander give it a rest," Faith was trying desperately to quiet him down, "I told you it was a secret."

Xander was still trying not to have a heart attack "But why?"
"We just clicked. He started sneaking into my room at night and teleporting me to his castle. We'd go on dates and..."
"And what?"
Faith just grimaced in pain, "...and that's why we had to break up." Xander smacked his forehead. It was all coming together.
The massacred demons,
Dracula going on an alcohol binge,
Faith's reluctance to talk about how she was feeling.
They were both on the rebound, from each other! Xander let out a long sigh. Well there was only one thing to do now. Ask. "Why did you break up?"
"Because he loved me. He was too good for me and he loved me." She looked at her new friend, "Because he deserved something more then some useless whore. He's a prince. He deserves a princess."
Xander was a little shocked at this admission. This was not the Faith he remembered. The 'Five by Five' cold-blooded killer he had come to fear during his year fighting the mayor. This was just poor woman weighed down by life's trials and something about her just made him want to help her.
"Faith," he whispered, "Why do you think I slept with you?"
Faith didn't even glorify that with a response. She just snorted and smiled at him.
"Yeah, I know. But there was another reason." Xander sat beside her on the couch and held her hand. "I liked you. I really liked you."

Another snort.

"No, seriously. There is a lot about you for someone to fall in love with. If you've found somebody who cares enough about you to see that, then you can't just throw that away."

Faith remained unconvinced "But I don't deserve him."
"Why because you made some mistakes? First of all Faith, life is not about the mistakes you make its about what you do after you make them."

She stared at him. "And second?"
Xander smiled "He's a vampire I think he's made a few more mistakes then you."
A moment in time froze for Faith as she made a decision. Her whole life passed before her eyes. All her mistakes, all her trials and tribulations. "Xander." Her voice was barely audible, "I need to go out for awhile, will you watch the house?"
Xander just smiled and nodded.
"Oh and Xander?"
"Anya's got herself quite a catch."


Dracula fumbled through the cemetery with his oversized duffel bag.
With each misstep, his rage grew. Oh, Spike was going to pay tonight. Pay for making him WALK for miles down a dark country road just so he get a worthwhile torture session in before sunrise.
Dracula smiled. This was definitely going to be the coup de grace of his undead career. The screams would be heard for miles. He'd even considered finding a doctor for William just to keep him alive longer.
"You look like you're in a hurry."
If Dracula had been alive, he would've died from shock. Faith was right in front him. Her raven hair and dark eyes seemed to shine in the moonlight.
She was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.
"Faith, listen, I was on my way out of town! I swear you never have to see me again!" Dracula was almost begging.

"Please don't be-" she put her finger to his lips, silencing him. "Shhhhh. I came to say I'm sorry. Everything I said to you was out of fear, I thought I didn't deserve you because of all the things that have gone wrong with my life. I've never been in love before and I was scared." She moved forward and draped his strong arms around his shoulders. "Please don't be angry." Dracula smiled "Faith, I could never be angry with you." Then they held each other, just enjoying the moment. For one brief moment, they both realized how wonderful the world could. They almost didn't want to move from that spot ever again. But they knew that eventually they would have to.
"Take me home,' Faith whispered, "Just take me to your big castle and make love to me."
Dracula was very tempted to but he knew it wasn't that simple. "Ummm we need to make a little stop first."


Dracula grinned sheepishly with embarrassment. "I'm sorry. I lost my temper." Faith rolled her eyes and smiled as she muttered to herself "God, I have to watch this one every minute."
Dracula knew he was going to be paying for this later. "Come on, how bad can it be. They're probably getting along just fine." He said as he unlocked the door to the crypt.

"Yeah well you don't know them very..." They were both greeted by the sight of a very naked Buffy straddling an equally naked Spike.
Faith watched in amazement as Buffy broke into a full body blush.
"Faith, ummm Hi."

The End