Spoilers: Waiting in the Wings
Summary: Angel wonders what he has to offer Cordelia.
Disclaimer: If you recognize them, they belong to Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt. Otherwise, they're mine.
Author's Note: In my version, Groo never leaves Pylea.
Lorne watched Angel for a moment. "You're a man of many limitations, Angel, but you're a man. You got a heart. And Cordelia is a hell of a lady. I mean, if I thought she'd like to wear green, I'd be elbowing you out of the way. But she's out of my league. She's a champion, Angel, old school. And besides, we all know you got a thing for ex-cheerleaders." Lorne dropped into a chair chuckling, but Angel only looked down.
Angel ran a hand through his hair. "What have I got to offer her?"
"Your heart," a feminine voice answered, walking into the room. "Lorne, can you give us a moment?" Cordelia asked.
"You bet, Princess," Lorne told her, softly closing the door behind him.
Cordelia took Angel by the hand and led him to the bed, sitting down beside him. "Angel, the only thing I have ever wanted is you," she told him simply. "I don't need roses and champagne or a mansion on the hills. All I need is you."
"Cordy, what can I give you? I have nothing to offer you except more pain. What kind of life is that?"
"As long as it's with you, I don't care," she told him.
"No, Angel, listen. I don't care about all the other stuff. I don't care about what you think you can't give me. The only thing that matters is you."
"Cordy, you deserve so much better than that."
"Angel, I want you. I'm tired of hiding my feelings for you. I'm tired of wanting to be held by you. I'm tired of feeling lonely in the middle of the night because I woke up dreaming of you. I need you," she told him quietly.
"I love you so much, Cordy," he told her as he kissed her softly.
"I love you, Angel."
"Cordy?" he asked a short time later.
"Yes?" she asked, lifting her head from the very comfortable spot on his shoulder.
"What about the curse?"
She smiled. "I have a solution for that."
A look of confusion spread across his face. "What solution?"
"A little thing I like to call a permanent soul," she answered.
"A what?" he asked, wondering if he'd heard her right.
"Permanent soul. It's a prophylactic called Soulstick."
He sat there, speechless for a full minute, a look of wonder in his eyes. Then, he took her in his arms and gave her the the biggest, soul-crushing hug of her life. "Thank you," he whispered, overcome with emotion, as tears broke free.
"You're welcome," she told him, gently wiping his tears away with the tips of her thumbs.
"Where is it?" he finally asked.
"In the safe."
"Do you--Can I--" he faltered.
She smiled. "Let's go get it."
Taking Angel's arm, they made their way downstairs.
"Yes. Isn't she a vision?" Wes was saying to Gunn.
"A lot of that going around," Gunn answered, looking up at Cordy.
"Thank-you, but no thank-you. There will be no visions tonght," Cordy told them.
"How can you be sure?" Angel asked.
"I had a vision," Cordy answered with a smile.
"Is everyone ready?" Wes asked.
"One thing I need to do first," Cordy said. "I'll be right back," she said walking into the office. Once inside, she pulled open the fake picture and turned the numbers for the combination of the safe. Pulling it open, she gently picked up the small vial in her hand, careful not to drop it. She closed the safe and returned to her friends.
Walking up to Angel, she handed him the vial. "Drink," she said softly.
He removed the top and swallowed it in one long drink. The most beautiful smile spread across his face.
"What was that?" Gunn asked?
"My soul. Well, my permanent soul," Angel answered, his eyes never leaving Cordy's.
"Permanent? As in no more Angelus. Ever?" Gunn asked.
"Wow. What are you going to do?" Wes asked.
"This." With that one word, he took Cordy in his arms. With one kiss, he showed her just how much he loved her. "I love you, Cordy."
"I love you, Angel," she whispered softly, feeling like the luckiest woman in the world.
"Wow. Tonight is magical," Fred smiled.
Angel smiled. "Let's go."