after.midnight // v.naked Better Than Nothing TITLE: Better Than Nothing
AUTHOR: Tamara
RATING: A very firm R -- D/A
SPOILERS: AtS Season 2, up to and including "Reprisal"
FEEDBACK: But, of course.
DISTRIBUTION: My page, which is well on its way to completion, so check it out. Want it? Mail me.
SUMMARY: I'm no good with summaries. Just read it. It's an Angel POV.
DISCLAIMER: Much as I would like to own Angel, he's not mine. And, neither is Darla, and that disappoints me, too. They do belong to Joss, though, so I'll have to be content with that.


The first time was quick, full of rage and passion and a nice healthy dose of violence. I hadn't forgotten how a good fight got the juices flowing, there are still a few memories of hot kisses and tender touches in the quiet stillness of a cemetery that exist in that tiny part of me that still cares. But until I had Darla under me, the smell of her fear and her arousal thick in the air, the familiar feel of her surrounding me, I'd forgotten how much I missed it.

If I've learned one thing during these last few months, it's that no matter how much I pretend or deny, I am a vampire, with everything that goes along with that. There's still a part of me that lusts for the thrill of the hunt, to taste the warmth of fresh blood in my throat, to see and smell the fear in my victim's eyes as I drain their life away. It was all I knew for a hundred and fifty years, and memories that strong never go away, neither does the longing for them. The funny thing is that spent all my time in Sunnydale reminding everyone who knew me that I was a vampire, that there was little difference between me and the demon inside, and that the only thing keeping me from killing them all was the soul, when, all the while, I was sitting at home denying what I was.

Having a soul doesn't make me a good person. Hell, every human being on earth has one, and yet there's so much death and destruction in the world that people barely notice until it happens to them. Having a soul just isn't enough, part of you has to care. I choose to do good because the alternative is unthinkable. I can't go back, there's still a part of me that cares enough to know that. But that doesn't stop me from wishing I could.

Darla was in my bed because, for a hundred and fifty years, she was everything to me, mother, sister, lover, and mate. I was so tired of feeling nothing, so tired of giving so much of myself only to find that nothing changed, but most of all, I was tired of being alone. With Darla I was never alone.

I spent a century and a half by her side, saw her in my dreams for months. For hours I was with her, trying desperately to save her life. I listened to her heartbeat and her blood hum in her veins. I felt the warmth of her skin as I held her in my arms in those final moments, when she accepted the unacceptable, before her soul was taken away forever. With so much history between us, it was impossible to feel nothing.

The second time was much like the first, only without the broken glass. I had so much time to make up for, so much sorrow to drown, and as she straddled my hips and took me inside, her nails digging into my flesh, making me bleed, her walls clenching around me, her voice calling out my name, she took it all. Night after night, she chased away the dark. I'm hoping that eventually she can make me care again, that when I wake up beside her one night, I'll remember why my duty was so important to me, why I tried so hard to do good.

It's not what she wanted, and she'll be extremely disappointed when she finds out, but she made me feel again. It wasn't love or happiness or hate, but it was something. And until I find it within me to care again, feeling something is better than feeling nothing at all.

For now, that's enough.