|Occupation:||Scourge of Europe, hapless bum, private investigator, CEO of Wolfram & Hart|
|Title/Rank:||Billowy Coat King of Pain|
|Relationships:||Buffy Summers (ex-girlfriend), Connor (son), Darla (sire), Drusilla (childe), Spike (pain in the ass)|
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Angel is a 200-year-old vampire who first appeared in the pilot episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and was a main character on the show for the first three seasons before becoming the title character on the spin-off series Angel.
Angel's real (human) name was Liam (Irish version of the name William - something that's featured in some Angel/Spike fics as the men share the first name). On the show, in flashbacks, Liam is portrayed as a drunk and a disappointment to his father.
The biggest and most defining character treat associated with Angel was the fact that he was a vampire with a soul. After killing a gypsy girl, her family cursed him and returns his soul to him, with a happiness clause - and the moment he experienced the moment of true happiness, he would lose it.
Angelus is Angel's soulless alter ego. He got the name for being a monster with a face of an angel.
Souled vs. Soulless
Some fans consider Angel's soul to be the changing factor for his personality - writing Angelus as a completely different characters. Others follow the school of thought that says becoming a vampire doesn't change who you are, which means that Angel has all the potential for cruelty, torture and killing that Angelus had, but his soul and guilt act as a moral compass.
This translates into some of the fics with soulled Angel, where he tortures, threatens or acts violently when his loved ones are in danger.
Angel's canonical relationship with Buffy Summers was enormously popular among early Buffy fans, and the pairing continued to have a strong following during the early seasons of AtS. Angel's most popular BtVS slash pairings include Angel/Xander and Angel/Spike (which became popular some time after [when?] Spike was introduced on BTVS in the second season).
A significant body of fanwriting about Angel focuses on his complicated past history. Some writers focus on the Fanged Four with Darla, Drusilla and Spike in various pairings; for example, Coquette and Peasant. Others write predominantly gen works about him in the period between acquiring a soul and the beginning of the series; for example, Cas and Corinna.
- The Grand Unified Theory - Human, Vampire, Soul, Redemption by DLGood (2003)
- Meta: Who is Angel? by angearia (2010)
- Warm Skin, Wolf Grin, an Angel/Nina ship manifesto by doyle_sb4 (2004)