Title: Familiar

Part: 1 of 1

Series: Nope.

Author: Zyre

E-mail address: zyre_dragon@yahoo.com

Rating: PG

Pairing: Angel/Cordelia

Archive: Sure to list archives, anyone else please just ask.

Disclaimers: I don't own these characters, Joss Whedon, 20th Century Fox, Mutant Enemy, and the rest do. No copyright infringement is intended, I'm just playing for a bit.

Warnings: Het. Shameless fluff.

Summary: Angel and Cordy have a talk after the events of That Vision Thing, and shameless fluff abounds.

Thanks to valancy and wesleysgirl for the fantastic beta reads.

**

"I'll just...deal with the consequences when they happen." Angel smiled a little, watching Cordelia's face intently. He could almost feel the air grow heavier when the corners of her mouth fell. She'd always had that power over her surroundings. With a soft sigh, Angel stood and walked around the counter to where Cordy was, resting an uncertain hand on her arm. "You trust me, right?"

She quirked her lips a little and nodded. "Well, yeah. After what you've done...yeah, Angel, I trust you."

"Then believe me when I say that I'll stop him." Angel dipped his head a bit, trying to catch her gaze. She had lovely eyes, and he treasured how familiar they were.

"I...I do." Cordy shook her head and sprinkled some sugar onto her waffle. "I do, and you're right. Everything's gonna be fine. Really." After a second of hesitation, she turned her biggest, fakest smile on him, and wandered away with her plate.

Angel watched her for a second and then followed, stuffing his hands into his pockets. "Then why won't you tell me what's wrong?"

"Because there's nothing wrong." Cordy sat down at her desk, ducking her head as she began to eat. He could tell that she was lying; the way she avoided his gaze said it all. It was all he could do to gather her into his arms. They hadn't been big on that in the past, but the urge grew every time Angel had to watch her recover from a mind-splitting vision headache.

Angel walked over and rested a hand on the back of her neck. She stiffened at his touch, the muscles cording slightly under his fingers. He began to lightly massage her shoulders and back, frowning a bit, and he knew that she wasn't this tense because of what had just happened. She'd been in pain for a long time, now. She leaned into his touch a bit, almost like a kitten, and he couldn't help but think how very right it felt to be this close to her.

"You can't lie to me." He moved so that he was sitting on the edge of the desk, looking down at her with a small, worried smile. "I've known you a long time, and I know when something's not right."

"It's just..." Cordy trailed off, idly stirring her syrup and sugar together. "What if you don't need me, Angel?" She set her fork down, and looked up at him with large, worried eyes.

"What?" Angel blinked and cocked his head to the side. "I mean, Cordy...how can you think that?"

"Well, what else do I do, Angel? I just get visions, and they're big and important and they help people, and if I didn't get them...I couldn't do anything else for you. Or for anyone. And I wouldn't be able to make up for how horrible I was before, and I don't want that. I want to be important for you, and for Wes, and for all the people we help."

Angel just stared at her for a moment, and then he smiled. He reached out, trailing his fingertips over the curve of Cordy's face lightly. "You are important, and not because of the visions." He slipped his hand under her chin and tilted her face up, meeting her gaze evenly. "I would fight anyone and anything for you. And the way you were in high school is hardly a reason to feel this much pain. You've come a long way from that."

She furrowed her brow a little, a small wrinkle that usually preceded either a question or serious snark. Angel reached up to run his fingertip over the skin, watching it smooth back out. There was something about the moment that seemed to stretch on for longer than usual.

"You're my best friend, Cordy, and I love you for it. You know that, right?"

"Angel, you're not making sense." She looked up at where his finger was, her eyes crossing a little. "I mean, you are, but it's an insane kind of sense. The kind that only you can make and make it make sense." She smiled and reached up to fix his shirt a little. "And you don't really love me. Do you?"

Angel thought for a moment, and then nodded. "Yeah I do. You've been here for me through everything. That's...special."

"Yeah, well, don't let it go to your head, mister," Cordy said, standing up. "It's only because you're dark and gorgeous and everything, and everyone gets super jealous when they see me with you."

Angel blinked and then frowned. "What?" There was way more to their friendship than making other people jealous. He hoped.

"Angel." He looked up at her. "I'm kidding." She started to laugh softly, and Angel narrowed his eyes and grinned cunningly. It was the perfect opportunity; they were alone in the office, and she seemed honestly happy for a moment. He reached out and grabbed her. She shrieked as she was pulled into Angel's lap and he smiled when she laughed some more.

"I'm gonna fix this for you," he said softly, leaning forward to smell her hair lightly. Cordy went perfectly still in his arms as he did, and he wondered for a second if he'd gone too far.

"Fix what?" Cordy asked a little breathlessly. He could hear her heartbeat speeding up, and feel the warmth of her body pressed against his. It was amazingly comfortable, as though they'd been here for years. And, he thought, they had in some ways. She had been one of his first real friends since he'd received his soul.

Angel reached up and ran his fingers over her forehead gently. "I'm gonna make them stop hurting you. I promise."

Cordy turned around and met his eyes sincerely. He could read the emotion in them; the way the skin around her eyes smoothed as she spoke. "Angel, you don't need to do that. I'll be okay."

Angel shrugged and then leaned forward, unable to resist any longer. He pressed his lips lightly to hers, praying that she wouldn't scream or hit him. "Don't wanna take that chance," he mumbled.

Cordelia went very still when he kissed her, and swallowed. The muscles in her arms tensed, and Angel pulled back a bit, rather fearing for the future of his nose.

"Who are you?" she asked with narrowed eyes.

"What?"

"The real Angel would so not have the nerve to do that," Cordy replied.

"I wouldn't? He wouldn't? What?" He found it both frustrating and amusing that she was so often able to stump him.

"He's all stoic-guy," she explained. He noted that she hadn't moved, despite her accusations. "But you are pretty confused, which gives you points in the Real Angel category."

Angel reached up, inadvertently brushing Cordy's pigtail as he did, and scratched his head. "Thanks, I think. But I promise I'm the real me."

She kept her eyes narrowed for a moment longer and then grinned. It was a real, startling grin that would have made Angel gasp, if he needed to breathe. "Okay," she said, and then leaned forward to kiss him back, shifting her position to rest a hand on his chest.

A million doubts raced through Angel's mind as he sat there: Buffy, the curse, work, and how exactly he would protect Cordy from the visions. He tightened his hold on her, keeping her safe and close.

That was enough for now.