Needful Things

An Angel vignette


WARNING: [NC-17] This story contains descriptions of m/f sexual activities. If you are under the age of majority in your country, or offended by this sort of material, please go back.

SPOILER ALERT: Contains general spoilers for Angel the series.

DISCLAIMER: Joss Whedon, 20th Century Fox, Mutant Enemy, and/or the WB Television Network own these characters. I've just borrowed them for this story. No copyright infringement is intended or inferred.

TIMELINE: Set between the Angel episodes 'I Will Remember You' and 'Hero'.


Angel looks at Doyle across his desk. He studies the man's face, animated now as he talks about Cordelia. He tries not to listen too closely to Doyle's words, won't be able to vouch for his temper if he does. He's heard it all before, thinks that it's time for Doyle to put up or shut up. All that talk about attraction, and the uneasily jokey references to sex. Doesn't Doyle ever stop to think how Angel might feel? Does he think that the curse stripped him of his desires, his needs? Angel wonders if Doyle ever discusses it with Cordelia. Are they fooled by his stoic facade, or do they let themselves be fooled by it?

At this moment, Angel wants ... he's not sure what he wants. He wants to show them just how wrong they are. He wants them to spend five minutes inside his head, his skin; to experience what festers under the surface. Most of all, he wants them to be right, wants the facade to be real. But it's crumbling a little tonight, under the onslaught of Doyle's grating enthusiasm. Angel wants him gone before she arrives. He doesn't want to have to ring her and postpone, not after the trouble he had setting this up. He doesn't like ringing at all.

Finally, Doyle drifts away in a haze of desperate hope and familiar need. Angel is permitted to retreat to his apartment in peace. When she arrives, she knocks before she enters. He likes that. He's had enough of colleagues and other demons who seem to think that he has no need for privacy. He watches her come down the stairs, her petite form moving with controlled grace. His voice sticks in his throat as he stares at her blonde hair and honey skin. In those rare moments when her eyes meet his, they are old beyond her years.

"I'm glad you could come again so soon," he tells her, regaining his control.

The talking is unusual. It puts him in mind of the first tentative occasion, when he proved that sex doesn't have to equal perfect happiness. It was easier then, before Doyle and Cordelia, before he had to hide these visits.

They walk through to the bedroom, in no particular hurry. He stops by the bed. She undresses him calmly, efficiently, then removes her own clothing in the same deliberate manner. She works her way down his body with her mouth and hands, her technique clinically perfect. She's learnt the quickest ways to make him hard. It doesn't take much these days, not since he stopped masturbating ... since he had to stop, afraid he'd lose himself in the fantasy. This way he's grounded in reality.

Her mouth is working on his cock, and he's fully erect now. She knows that's her cue to lie on the bed. He positions himself and enters her with one practised thrust. Looking down at her, he doesn't see Buffy. What he sees is a reminder of Buffy, of how he's betraying his love for her with every stroke. That's how it's supposed to be, but it brings a bitter smile to his lips.

When it's over, he's satisfied and she's exhausted. On her way out she takes the money that he leaves on the nightstand. Now the guilt hits him full force, not that it ever went away. He welcomes it, lets it wash over him and drag him down. He's found guilt to be the most effective antidote to happiness. So he thinks about what the others would say if they knew; pictures them discovering him in bed with the almost-Buffy and leaping to their conclusions. For a moment he imagines staring into their shocked faces and asking why they're so surprised. It's not like buying whores is anything new to him.

He wonders if they'd appreciate that it's for their sake rather than his, that abstinence only makes the demon harder to control. Lust, like pain and hunger and all the other primitive stimuli, bring out his demon instincts. This is just one more part of his mission to keep the streets free from evil. So what if this evil is inside him, and his methods are less than commendable. He needs a certain amount of relief before this hunger turns to something darker. He's grateful for this necessity, but would they mistake this for something else, think that he was just making excuses? Perhaps they'd be right. Maybe on some level it all just boils down to this: a man has needs. Being dead is irrelevant.

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