Summary: Angel and Cordy finally admit their feelings for each other.
Disclaimer: If you recognize them, they belong to Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt. Otherwise, they're mine.
Wesley followed Angel into the Hyperion, dabbing at his brow with a handkerchief.
"Has it--" Wesley asked.
"Stopped bleeding? Yeah," Angel said.
The two men stop as they notice Cordelia sitting hunched over on the gray sofa in the middle of the lobby.
"Cordelia," Wesley said.
"Hi," Angel told her.
Cordy looked up at them, a sad look on her face, and then looked back down at the floor.
Angel took a step towards her. "Look, I just wanna say if I was out of line today--"
Cordy straightened up. "If you were out of line? If?" she said, getting up. "You're comfortable with your use of the word if here, are you?"
"I'm sorry I embarrassed you," he told her.
Cordy let out a breath. "Who am I kidding? I embarrassed myself. I just wanted to act, that's all. For them to like me because I was good. I never wanted to feel like this."
"Wes, can you give us a moment?" Angel asked the other man.
He nodded. "Sure." He walked into the office and shut the door softly behind him.
Cordy looked at Angel, a question shining in her hazel eyes. "Come with me," he told her, leading her over to the sofa in the corner and sitting down beside her.
"Talk to me," he told her.
She sighed."I felt like some kind of object, like trash," she told him quietly, a tear slipping down her pretty face.
"Cordy, you're the farthest thing from trash. You're beautiful, you have an amazing heart and you bring sunshine to my otherwise dark life," he told her.
She smiled at him. "Thank you," she told him. "And thank you for standing up for me on the set. I know I didn't show it at the time, but I really did appreciate it."
"No one should be talking to you that way," he told her. "You deserve so much more than that."
"But why did you get so angry?" she asked.
"He had no right to treat you that way. You aren't some object to be taken out when they need you. You're a human being, my best friend and--" he suddenly stopped, realizing what he was about to say.
"And what?" she asked.
"And the woman I love," he told her quietly.
"You love me? Since when?"
"I don't know when it happened, but I know when I realized it," he told her. She looked at him questionably. "When Vocah gave you the neverending visions," he told her softly. "I realized then how much I needed you and it wasn't because of the visions."
She smiled that brilliant Cordelia Chase smile, the one that made him fall in love all over again. "Angel, I love you, too."
A smile slowly spread across the face of the man she had fallen in love with. "I can't imagine my life without you in it--and I don't want to. Your face is the first thing I picture in the morning and last thing I think of at night. I'm tired of hiding the way I feel about you," she told him.
"Now you don't have to," he whispered, kissing her softly.
"It's about damn time," Gunn commented as he walked in the front door of the Hyperion.
"What?" they asked in unison.
"You two. About time you admitted your feelings." The shocked look on both their faces made him laugh. "For two smart and very cool people, you both can sure be dumb sometimes."
"What?" they asked again.
"Hey, Wes, " Gunn called.
"Yes"? he asked the black man. "Is something wrong?"
"No, Cordy and Angel finally admitted their feelings for each other and are clueless," he told him, laughing.
Wes smiled. "About bloody time."
"What are you two talking about?" Angel finally asked.
"Angel, come on. You've been in love with Cordy for a long time now," Wes told the vampire.
"I have," he admitted, "but how do you know that?"
"I'd like to know, too," Cordy said.
Gunn looked at her. "And you've been in love with him for as long as I've known you and probably even longer than that," he told her.
"Yes. But again, how do you two know this?"
Wes smiled. "The only people you two were fooling were each other. How you were so oblivious to the signs is beyond me."
"Signs?" Angel asked.
"Yes. When Cordy is having a hard time dealing with the vision aftermaths or even just having a bad day, who is the only one she wants around? When something good happens, who is the first one she calls?" Gunn asked.
"Me," Angel said softly.
"And when Angel starts to brood or starts to blame himself for things that aren't his fault, who is the only one that can make him feel better and bring him out of his mood? Who is the only one that can bring a genuine smile to his face?" Wes asked.
"Me," she said, smiling.
"And of course, there's the whole invading each other's personal space. You two don't even notice you're doing it," Gunn said. "I tried that once, just to see what would happen. Cordy told me in no uncertain terms to back out of her personal bubble."
Wes laughed. "I bet she did."
"Hey," she said, somewhat indignantly.
"Look, the bottom line is, you've been in love for a very long time. We're just glad you two finally figured it out," Wes told them. "It couldn't happen to two more deserving people. We're thrilled for you. Now take the day off," he told them. "We can hold the fort down."
Angel looked from Wes to Gunn and then to the woman he loved. He smiled. "Thanks, Wes," he told them, taking her hand and leading her up the stairs to his room.
"Angel?" she asked, once they were in his room.
"What happens now? For us, I mean."
"Well, we continue on fighting the good fight," he told her. "And we no longer have to hide our love--from each other or the world. It also means that if I want to kiss you in the middle of the day, I can do that instead of attempting to distract myself."
"Do you often want to kiss me in the middle of the day?"
"Every day," he told her, smiling.
"I adore you," she told him.
The smile he gave her then took her breath away. It was like she had just given him everything his heart could ever desire on a silver platter.
"What do we do with our day off?" she asked, yawning.
"Well, I'd say a nap is the first thing on the list," he told her as she yawned again. "Come on," he told her leading her to his bed.
"I'm sorry," she told him, as he pulled back the blankets.
"There's nothing to be sorry for," he told her as they lay down. "A nap with the woman I love sounds just about perfect."
She smiled at him. "I love you," she told him, laying her head on his chest and closing her eyes.
"I love you, too, Cordy," he said, pulling the blankets over them. He kissed her softly and closed his eyes.
Not even his vampire hearing heard a sound when, minutes later, Wes and Gunn silently opened the door to find the vampire and his love fast asleep, wrapped up in each other's arms.