Title: Remembering the Past

Author: Aimee

Rating: PG

Spoilers: Seasons 1-4

Pairing: Angel/Cordelia

Summary: Cordelia remembers the past.

Disclaimer: If you recognize them, they belong to Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt. Otherwise, they're mine.

Author's Note: Set in season five, but with no actual spoilers from season five. Cordy has woken up from her coma for real.

Cordelia sat at Angel's desk, head propped upon her hand, lost in thought. She was so lost in thought she didn't notice the object of her thoughts silently enter the room and sit down on the sofa. She didn't notice as he watched her with eyes full of love or the way her very presence brought a smile of contentment to his face--something he'd been missing for the better part of a year and a half.

Cordelia remembered the party that started it all. She'd been in L.A. only a few months, but she wasn't having any luck in the whole acting department. She had little money left, but more than that--she was lonely. She had no real friends in L.A., only a few who pretended to like her. And then Angel had turned up at that party. Then he had saved her from Russell Winters, let her give herself a job working for him. For the first time since she'd come to L.A., she felt like she belonged.

When Angel had gone looking for Spike and had not turned up the following morning, she had been so worried. When she found out that Spike had been having Angel tortured, she had wanted nothing more than to rip Spike into shreds. Within the space of only a few months, he had went from her employer to her friend and she couldn't let anything happen to him.

When she had gotten that first vision after Doyle had died, she had wanted nothing more than to get rid of them. Now she couldn't imagine life without them. They were a part of who she was.

When she had been sucked into that portal and transported to Pylea, she had never thought she'd see her friends again. The very fact that Angel was willing to jump through a portal with no way of knowing if he'd be able to return home was something she'd never forget. He'd been willing to risk it all just to save her.

When Angel had come back from Sri Lanka, she had thought her heart would burst from happiness. She had been so happy to see him. Things just hadn't been the same without him, but more than that, she had missed her best friend. It had been the first time he had bought her jewelry. The necklace was gorgeous--and so totally her style. It had touched her heart so completely that he had known just what she liked.

Cordelia brought a hand to her neckline with a smile, touching the aquamarine necklace that lay there. More than two years later and it was still her favorite piece of jewelry.

When Wolfram & Hart had hacked into her visions, she had never felt so helpless in her life. She remembered telling Angel that if she didn't have the visions, that she wouldn't be able to help him, that he wouldn't need her anymore. He had told her that the visions wasn't why he needed her, that they were just extras. He had freed a man to save her. She had never felt more loved.

When Connor was born, she saw a new side to Angel--one that she loved very much. She saw the caring, gentle father that she always knew he could be. She still remembered the look of sheer joy on his face when he had held Connor in his arms. She missed that look.

Cordelia remembered the birthday when she had almost lost it all. The visions were killing her--literally. To live, she had given up everything important to her--the visions, Angel, the rest of the gang. Slowly, her real life kept creeping in and she started remembering everything. She had forced Skip to find a loophole. She became part demon--for not only herself, but for Angel, as well.

Cordelia's face fell when the next memory hit her. Though the memory was not one that she actually experienced, it hurt just the same. Coming back from being a higher being, her doppleganger had made the man she loved believe she no longer loved him because of his past. Yes, she had always known the horror of Angel's past when he had been Angelus, but it had never mattered because it was just that--his past. He was a different person back then.

These actions would pit father against son, making the man she loved believe that she could find solace in the arms of his son. His son--the boy she had thought of as her own child. Tears fell silently down her face.

Across the room, the man in question saw the tears and rose to his feet. He closed the distance between them and dropped to his knees beside her. He turned the chair she was sitting in and gently touched her face. "Cordy," he whispered.

Snapping back to the present, Cordelia threw her arms around him and sobbed onto his shoulder. He picked her up and walked back to the sofa he had recently vacated. He dropped to the sofa and held her in his arms as she cried.

When she finally looked into his eyes, the look on her face broke his heart. "Cordy, what is it? What's wrong?" he asked, pushing a piece of her dark hair behind her ear.

"I was just--remembering."

"Remembering what?"

"The past. Most of it was good memories. But then I got to what happened last year. With you. With Connor," she told him sadly.

"Oh, Cordy. Nothing that happened was your fault."

"I know. It's just--it hurts so much. I was stuck on a cloud with the PTB and there was nothing I could do to stop her from hurting you, from stopping her from making you believe that I could no longer love you. Nothing could have been further from the truth."

"Shh, it's okay. Everything is going to be okay. Yes, she hurt me, but you're here now and that's all that matters."

She touched his face gently. "What did I do to deserve you?"

He leaned his forehead against hers, smiling. "I could ask you the same thing."

A soft smile had crept upon her face. "How would you feel about a vacation?" he asked. "Just you and me."

Cordelia leaned back against his chest, wrapping her arms around him. "Sounds wonderful. Where to?"

"How about Aspen?" he asked, smiling as he wrapped his arms around her.

"Chipmunk robots on ice," they said in unison, smiling.

"I love you, Angel."

"I love you, too, Cordy. More than I ever thought possible," he told her as he softly kissed her lips.

"Let's go home," she told him, taking his hand and leading him to his private elevator that would take them to his apartment.