Title: Making Memories
Spoilers: You're Welcome
Summary: Cordelia suddenly noticed how exhausted Angel looked.
Disclaimer: If you recognize them, they belong to Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt. Otherwise, they're mine.
Author's Note: In my version, Cordy wakes up from her coma for real.
Angel stepped off his private elevator into his apartment. He heard his dearly departed friend, Doyle's voice coming from his bedroom. Walking into the room, he saw Cordelia sitting on the edge of the bed watching the tape of the promotional spot she and Doyle had made in the early days of Angel Investigations. He turned to look at the video playing.
"If you need help, then look no further. Angel Investigations is the best. Our rats are low--" Doyle was saying.
"Rates," Cordelia's voice told him.
"It says rats," Doyle told Cordelia. "Our rates are low, but our standards are high. When the chips are down and you're at the end of your rope, you need someone that you can count on and that's what you'll find here. Someone who will go all the way, who'll protect you no matter what. So don't lose hope."
Cordelia paused the video. "Sorry. I was snooping. I found this," she told him.
"No, it's--it's okay. I just--you couldn't sleep?" he asked her.
"Oh. No sleep for me. I slept enough for one lifetime," she said.
Angel looked at the television and sat down beside Cordelia. "Been a long while since I've seen that."
"The first soldier down," she said.
"Yeah," he sighed.
"Doyle pissed me off so righteously going out like that, but he knew. He knew what he had to do. Didn't compromise. Used his last breath to make sure you'd keep fighting. I get that now," she told him.
"Cordy, there are reasons I agreed to take over Wolfram & Hart, reasons you don't understand."
Cordy stood. "I understand just fine." She walked around the apartment, gesturing. "They seduced you with all their fancy facilities, manpower. They threw a whole bunch of money at you, plied you with all these expensive toys and penthouses with spectacular views and--" She looked out his window, admiring the view. "Really spectacular." She looked at Angel. "What was I saying?"
"I've been seduced," he told her.
"That's right, pal. They dazzled you with shiny objects and beautiful things and there is no reason you could give me--"
"Connor," he told her quietly.
"Where is Connor? Why did Gunn ask--"
Angel walked into the living room. "They don't remember him. It's part of my agreement to take this job. The senior partners altered reality. They gave Connor a life, a real family and a childhood. Something I could never give him. He's got no memories of us. And no one remembers him," he told her, sitting on the arm of a chair. "Except for me and you. And Eve, for some reason."
"So, not only did you strike a deal with your worst enemy to give up your son, you let them rape the memories of your friends who trust you?"
"He was about to kill you. And himself. He was so torn up. I didn't have any other way to stop him, any way to help him. Connor's happy now." He stood up. "And we're doing fine here. I mean, we 've done some great work here," he said, pacing.
"Don't give me that everything's fine here company line. I'm not buying it. Neither are you. And neither are the Powers That Be. Why do you think they woke me up, gave me that vision? They know you slipped the track and they want me to help put you back on it."
"You're wrong about the Powers. They're not in my corner anymore," he told her. "It looks like Spike is their new champion," he said, rolling his eyes.
"Spike? Spike who?"
"Spike. He's got a soul now and he saved the world. And he's out there on the streets. You know, helping the...helpless."
"Okay, Spike's a hero and you're CEO of Hell, Incorporated," she said, holding up her hands. "What freakin' bizarro world did I wake up in?"
Angel sat down, hanging his head. "I'm sorry."
"I naturally assumed you'd be lost without me, but this?"
"I am lost without you," he told her softly.
"You just forgot who you are."
"Uh, no. That's for you to figure out, bubba. I can tell you who you were. A guy who always fought his hardest for what was right, even when he couldn't remember why. Even when he was miserable, which was, let's face it, a not small portion of the time. He did right. And that gave him something. A light, a glimmer. And that's the guy I fell in love with," she told him softly as she sat down beside him and took his hand in hers.
At her declaration of love, a tear slipped down his face. "Hey, what is it, Angel?"
"I missed you," he told her softly. "I've been so lost and lonely. God, I've been so lonely," he told her, choking back a sob.
The bare emotion in his voice broke her heart. "Come here," she said, holding out her arms to him. He fell into them, sobbing. "Oh, Angel," she whispered, holding him.
Lifting his head off her shoulder, he noticed tears slipping down her face. "Cordy, what is it?"
"I missed you," she told him simply.
Standing up, he held out his hand. "Come with me." She took his hand and walked with him to his bedroom. Opening a drawer, he removed a pair of her pajamas. "Go get changed," he told her, gently pushing her towards the bathroom.
She looked at them in surprise, but did as he said. While she was in the bathroom, he took off his shoes, shocks and shirt and changed into his pajama pants. He pulled back the blankets on the bed and sat down on the edge to wait for her.
She emerged from the bathroom minutes later. He thought she was beautiful in her cotton striped pajamas with her hair pulled back. "I see you found your hair things," he told her, nodding at her hair.
She smiled. "Yeah."
They slipped into bed together. Cordy rested her head on his chest and he wrapped his arm around her. "Angel?"
"Why do you have my pajamas and my hair things here?" she asked.
"Cordy, I have all your things here," he told her.
"Because I knew someday you'd come back to me," he told her. "And when that happened I wanted you to have your things here."
"So my fuzzy slippers--"
"Are under the bed," he told her. She smiled.
She turned in his arms so she was looking into his face. She suddenly noticed how tired he looked. She touched his cheek with the palm of her hand. "Angel, you look exhausted," she told him softly.
He closed his eyes for a second at the feel of her touch. "I haven't been sleeping well," he told her.
"For how long?" she asked.
"Since you've been gone."
"At first, I didn't sleep at all," he told her honestly. "Then it got so I'd sleep a couple hours a night if I was lucky," he said, looking up at the ceiling.
"There's something else, isn't there?" she asked.
He sighed. "I'd dream of you. Of us. Of a life together. We lived and worked side by side. The perfect life," he said. "And then I'd wake up and reality set in, breaking my heart each and every time," he told her quietly.
"How about we make that dream a reality?" she asked, turning his face so his eyes met hers.
"That sounds...wonderful," he said as the most beautiful smile she'd ever seen slowly took over his face.
"One thing, though. Could we possibly--"
"Move back to the hotel?" he finished for her.
She smiled. He still knew her better than anyone else. "Yeah. Do you mind?"
He smiled. "No. Sounds like a great idea, in fact. The only reason I moved out was because the memories I have of it are all linked to you. It was just too hard to live there without you. It hurt too much."
The pain in his voice broke her heart. "How about we start making some new memories?"
"Best idea I've heard in months," he told her, yawning.
"Sleep," she told him. "We have the rest of our lives to talk."
"What about you?"
"I don't know if I'll sleep, but I'll be right here," she told him. "I'm never leaving you again."
"I love you so much, Cordy," he whispered.
"And I love you just as much, Angel," she told him.
"Sleep," she told him again, kissing him softly. He nodded and pulled her closer. Minutes later, he was fast asleep, finally at peace for the first time in months.
Smiling, she closed her own eyes and joined the man she loved in dreamland.