Title: Moving On
Spoilers: Tomorrow, Deep Down
Summary: The gang decide what to get Angel for his birthday. This follows Finding Cordy.
Disclaimer: If you recognize them, they belong to Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt. Otherwise, they're mine.
Author's Note: Thanks to Dev for the beta. You're very much appreciated. :)
As Angel slowly regained awareness of his surroundings, he couldn't remember ever feeling so comfortable before. Slowly opening his eyes, he saw the reason for his contentment and smiled. The woman in his arms slept on, oblivious to his thoughts. Angel kissed the top of Cordelia's head, loving the way her body felt against his.
Cordelia opened her eyes to see a softly smiling Angel looking at her. "Morning, Beautiful."
"Morning, Handsome," she told him, kissing him softly and settling back into his arms. "I was afraid it was all a dream."
"This. Us. I was afraid I was still trapped in that box, thinking you were dead," she whispered.
"Shh, it's okay. That's all over."
"What happens now?" she asked.
"Now we move on. Now we spend the rest of our lives together."
"So, what's up for the day?" Wes asked, coming down the stairs to find Fred and Gunn sitting at the front desk drinking their coffee.
"Not sure," Gunn admitted.
"You know, Angel's birthday is next month," Fred said.
"What are we going to get him?" Wes asked. "What do you get for a 249-year-old vampire?"
"A trip to Vegas?" Gunn asked.
"Charles! You are Vegas obsessed," Fred told her boyfriend.
Gunn grinned. "Can't help it. I love Vegas."
"A trip isn't a bad idea. How about a trip to Aspen?" Fred asked. "They need some time to relax."
Wes nodded. "Yeah, that sounds like a great idea," he said, thoughtful. "What about researching a way to give him a permanent soul, too?"
"That's a great idea," Fred said.
"Yeah, but any idea on where we start?" Gunn asked. "Research-wise."
"I think we should start with prophylactics," Wes said.
"How many different ones are there?" Gunn asked.
"I'm not sure. A lot, I think," Wes told him.
Fred opened up the laptop that was sitting on the desk. "Let's find out," she said, typing in the web address for . "Oh, my."
"What?" Wes asked.
"There's--" Fred said.
"Thousands," Gunn finished for her, peering at the screen.
"Good thing we have a month," Wes said. "Do they have prices listed?" he asked.
"Yeah," Fred said. "They cost--"
"Five hundred dollars," Gunn said. "Wow. Can we afford both that and the trip?"
"If we can't, I'll take the rest out of my savings," Wes said.
"Are you sure?" Fred asked.
Wes nodded. "I'm sure. They've both done so much for all of us. They need this."
"Morning, all," Cordy told them, as she was carried downstairs in Angel's strong arms. He gently placed her in the chair at her desk.
"Morning," the others chorused.
"Coffee?" Angel asked the brunette.
Angel poured her a cup of coffee, adding sugar to the cup, just the way he knew she liked it. He handed it to her with a smile. "Here you go, Cordy."
"Thanks," she said, taking a sip.
"So what's on the agenda for today?" Angel asked.
"Well, it's pretty quiet right now," Gunn told him.
"How about all of you catch me up on what I've missed?" Cordy asked. "And could somebody go out and get me some crutches? As much as I like being carried in my vamp in shining armor's arms, I need to be able to walk on my own."
"Sure. I'll go," Gunn told her. "You wanna come, Fred?"
Gunn and Fred were almost to the door when Angel caught up with them. "Here," Angel said, pulling out his wallet. "I'll pay for them."
"Where's Wes?" Cordy asked.
"He went home to shower and change his clothes," Angel told her, not telling her about the errand he'd asked Wes to make for him on his way back.
"So we have the place to ourselves?" she asked.
He grinned. "Yep," he said, pulling a chair over to her and sitting down.
Cordelia captured his hand in hers. "So how do you want to spend our time alone?"
"I can think of a few ways," he whispered, leaning in. His face was only inches from hers as he closed the distance between them and kissed her. She quickly wrapped her arms around his neck, kissing him back with all the passion she felt for this man.
"Wow," she said as they pulled apart, allowing for her need to breathe. "That was--"
"Amazing?" he supplied.
She nodded. "Yes," she said, touching her lips, a ghost of a smile on her face.
"You're amazing," Angel told her.
"Where's Cordy?" Wes asked as he returned from his apartment and the errand Angel had asked of him.
"In the bathroom," Angel said.
"Here's the card," Wes told him.
"Thanks, Wes. I appreciate this," Angel said, taking out a pen and writing something that brought a smile to his face.
Cordelia opened the bathroom door, losing her balance. She fell forward and would have fallen if strong arms wouldn't have caught her. "Thanks," she said, smiling up at Angel. "I guess I'm still getting used to these."
He smiled. "You're welcome," he told her, helping her to her desk, where she spotted the most beautiful bouquet of red roses she had ever seen.
Cordy inhaled the sweet scent and gently removed the card nestled inside. Angel sat down beside her as Cordy began to read. "Dear Cordy," she read. "These months without you have been hell. I have loved you for so long I don't know how not to anymore. You are my dearest friend, the one I turn to when the world gets dark and lonely and the one who has accepted me for who I am--the vampire and the man. I love you, Cordelia Chase. Forever Yours, Angel."
"Oh, Angel," she said, turning to the man in question. "They're beautiful."
"Not nearly as beautiful as you," he whispered, kissing the woman he loved with a tenderness that took her breath away. "I love you."
"I love you, Angel."
"So where are we with the prophylactic?" Gunn asked Fred and Wes, shutting the door as he came into Angel's office later that day.
"We've eliminated about 100 thus far," Wes told the black man. "We only have about 9,900 to go."
"Oh, man. What about the trip to Aspen?"
"Fred's booking it now," Wes told him. "Where are Angel and Cordy?"
"In the far corner stretched out on the sofa--asleep."
"Good. Maybe we can get some work done on this before they wake up," Fred said.
Wes opened up his own laptop, pulled up the site and started searching for the prophylactic that would give Angel a permanent soul. "Here's something called Soulspot," he said, reading aloud. "Soulspot gives the drinker a soul for all eternity."
"That's it, then? This is the one we need?" Gunn asked.
Wes nodded. "Yeah, this is the one," he said, clicking on the order form and inputting his credit card information and home address in the order form.
"Thank God we didn't need to go through the whole 10,000," Fred said.
"No kidding," Gunn agreed. "How long does it take to arrive?"
Wes read his confirmation email. "Two weeks."
"Perfect," Fred said.
A month later, Cordy's cast had been removed and things were back to normal--or as normal as they ever got around Angel Investigations.
"Wake up, sleepyhead," a voice whispered in his ear. "Time to join the land of the living."
"Why?" he asked, smiling. "I like it here. It's soft and warm," he said, pulling her closer.
Cordelia sat up, taking the warmth with her. "Hey!" Angel protested.
"Come on, Angel. Time to get up," she said, climbing out of bed and pulling him with her.
"Go shower," she told him, pushing him gently in the direction of the bathroom.
"Fine," he pouted. She smiled. He was so cute when he pretended to pout.
When Angel emerged from his shower twenty minutes later, Cordy was nowhere to be found. She must have showered next door and went downstairs already, he thought with a shrug.
He thought the hotel sounded unusually quiet for this time of morning. He shrugged. "Cordy," he called as he walked down the stairs.
"Down here, Angel," she called.
Stepping off the last stair, he stepped fully into the Hyperion's lobby. What he saw there took him by surprise. On the counter of the reception desk sat a white birthday cake, decorated with a picture of his 1967 Plymouth Belvedere GTX. Instead of 249 candles, he noticed there were just 3, the numbers that made up the number 249. No fire marshall this year, he thought with a grin. Beside the cake, there were three packages, two of which were covered in balloons and candles. The other was wrapped in a very pretty dark blue, a silver ribbon on top. He knew this was the one that came from the woman he loved. It was distinctly Cordy.
"Happy Birthday, Angel," Cordy told him, stepping forward to give him a kiss and pulling him towards the front counter.
"Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Hapy Birtday dear Angel
Happy Birthday to you"
The gang stood there, smiles on their faces as they finished out the song as he blew out the candles on the cake. The vampire shook his head with a smile. "How did you guys do this without me finding out?"
Cordelia smiled. "When my leg was in the cast, I would work on this every time you guys went out to fight a demon," she told him.
"Open your presents," Fred suggested, handing him the largest box.
Tearing off the paper, he pulled out his pocket knife and slit the box open. Inside was what looked like reservations of some kind. He reached inside, pulling it out. His eyes quickly scanned the papers. It was reservations. A two-week vacation in Aspen for two. He smiled. "Thanks, guys," he said, glancing from Wes, Fred and Gunn.
"You're welcome," Gunn told him.
"Open mine next," Cordy told him, handing him the small dark blue package. He tore off the wrapping in a flash. Inside, he found the most beautiful necklace he'd ever seen. It was a couple's pendant, he knew. It was a cube pendant with a birthstone. Two sterling silver pendants sat side by side. The first one had Angel inscribed with his birthstone, a ruby. The second one read Cordelia, an emerald birthstone beside it. They sat on a simple sterling silver snake chain.
"Oh, Cordy," he told her, "this is--"
"Perfect and so completely you? Something you'd never buy yourself?"
"Yes," he smiled. "Thank you."
"You're welcome," she told him, taking the necklace and fastening it for him so it lay against the skin over his heart. "I liked them so much I bought one for myself," she told him, slipping her own necklace out from under her shirt so it lay over her heart for all the world to see.
"Last one," Wes told Angel, handing over the last package. Angel slid his finger under the wrapping and tore it off. The brown box it was wrapped in contained no clues as to what was inside. Opening the box, he found a small bottle which bore no label that would indicate the bottle's contents. Also inside was a note written in what he recognized as Wesley's handwriting. "Dear Angel," he read, "this bottle contains a prophylactic called Soulspot. It gives the drinker a soul for all eternity. Love, Wesley, Fred & Gunn."
"Soul. Eternity," he repeated.
"It will cement your soul," Wes told him. "Forever."
Angel was speechless for a moment. "Thank you," he whispered. "Thank you just doesn't seem to do justice to what I'm feeling, but it's all I've got. Thank you."
"You're welcome," Wes told his friend.
"When are you going to drink it?" Fred asked.
"No time like the present," Cordy told him.
Angel smiled, removed the lid and swallowed it in one long drink. "Do you feel any different?" Cordy asked.
He shook his head. "Nope."
"That's good, though. Right?" Gunn asked, looking at Wes.
"Yes," Wes told them. "If you already have a soul, you shouldn't feel a change. Since Angel already has a soul, all it did was make it permanent."
"When do we leave again?" Angel asked, looking at the reservations for the second time.
"It's about a 14 hour drive from L.A. to Aspen," Gunn told him. "You should probably leave tonight and split it up into just a few hours a night. Either that or you'll have to put the top up on the car and drive during the daylight. Your reservations are for the day after tomorrow.
"Tonight it is. If we leave at sunset, we can be halfway there by about 3 in the morning."
"Who wants cake?" Cordelia asked, looking around.
"I do," Fred told her.
"Wes, Gunn?" Both men nodded.
"Angel?" she asked. "I know you don't really eat, but--"
"Yeah, cake sounds good," he told her, smiling.
"You want some blood to go with that?"
Angel nodded. "Please."
Cake in hand, they headed to Angel's office to continue their celebration. Angel sat behind his desk, Cordy in a chair beside him. Wes sat on a chair off to the side while Fred and Gunn shared the sofa.
Cordelia looked over at Angel and smiled. He was chewing thoughtfully, a small smile on his face. "Happy?"
Angel looked up. "Yeah. Very."
Cordy chuckled. "And here's to me never worrying about you becoming too happy again."
"Amen to that," Fred said, taking a bite of her cake.
"What's up for the day?" Angel asked.
"Nothing for you. You and Cordy need to pack and get ready," Wes told him. "We can handle anything that comes up."
Angel nodded. "Thanks."
"We've had a little practice handling things," Gunn told him. "What with your ungrateful son sinking you to the ocean depths and all." He paused, thinking. "Except this time we won't have to worry about you or Cordy."
The cake now finished, Cordelia started to gather their plates, but Fred stopped her. "I'll get it, Cordy. Go pack."
Cordelia smiled at her friend."Thanks, Fred."
Upstairs, Cordelia pulled Angel into room 217, led him to the bed and kissed him, passionately. "Make love to me," she whispered. "I want our first time to be here, in our home."
Angel kissed the woman in front of him tenderly, wanting to make their first time special. He slowly unbuttoned her pink shirt and pushed it to the floor. His lips never left hers.
Cordelia unhurriedly unbuttoned the buttons on his black shirt. When she got to the last button, she pushed the shirt apart. She ran her hands up his strong chest, pushing the fabric to the floor.
Angel unzipped her skirt and pushed it over her hips. She let it fall to the floor without a second thought. He smiled at the woman standing in front of him, dressed in only her bra and panties. He had never seen anything more beautiful.
Cordelia unzipped his black pants and slid them down over his hips. They fell to the floor with a soft thud. He stepped out of them, moving his hand around her back, unhooking the pink bra she still wore. She dropped it to the floor with a smile. Angel slipped his thumbs under the waistband of her panties and drew them over her hips. They fell to the floor without a sound. Cordelia slid Angel's boxers over his hips. Not a sound was made as they fell to the floor.
Angel gently pushed her back onto their bed until she was lying on his pillow. He kissed her, gently, tenderly. His kisses turned passionate in a hurry. He kissed his way down her body as she shuddered underneath him.
"I love you, Cordy," he whispered.
"I love you, Angel," she told him as he entered her, making her feel so very glad to be a woman.
Angel held her hand in his as he made love to the woman who held his heart. When they reached their peak, it was as they did everything else--together. It wasn't a surprise to either of them. When it was over, he lay down and pulled her into his arms, pulling a blanket up over them. "I love you," Angel told her, brushing a kiss across her lips.
"I love you, too, Angel," she told him, closing her eyes.
"Angel, do you own a suitcase?" Cordelia asked three hours later, while pulling out clothes from the dresser.
He shook his head. "Nope."
"Why am I not surprised?" she asked him, shaking her head with a smile. "Go next door and get mine, will you?"
"Sure," he told her, opening the door that connected the two rooms and disappeared into room 219, what once was her room.
Returning a few minutes later with a black luggage set, Angel set it on the bed and unzipped it. "Which ones do you think we need?"
Cordelia looked at them, considering. "Probably just the largest one," she said as she started loading their clothes into it. "We'll use the overnight bag for toiletries."
"I'll get them," he said, disappearing into the bathroom. He gathered their shampoo, shower gel, mousse, razors and deoderant. In the bedroom, he packed his cologne and her perfume.
Meanwhile, Cordy thought of something she hadn't before. "We'll need a cooler," she told him.
"Your blood and cold drinks. I'm going to ask Gunn if he'll go to the store for us," she told him, opening the door. He nodded his head, letting her know he had heard her.
As she vanished down the staircase, Angel went to the drawer in his nightstand and opened it. With a smile, he pulled out a small box and put it in the pocket of his leather jacket.
"Gunn?" Cordelia called as she stepped into the lobby.
"I'm right here, Cordy," Gunn told her, looking up from his video game.
"I have a favor to ask."
"We're going to need a cooler, ice, blood and cold drinks."
"I'm on it," he said, reaching for his jacket.
"Thanks, Gunn." He smiled as he headed for the door.
"Do we have everything?" Cordy asked as Angel zipped up their very full suitcase.
"It feels like it," he told her, sitting it down on the floor.
Opening the door, he grabbed his leather coat and picked up the suitcase. "Let's go."
Cordelia picked up the overnight bag and softly closed the door behind her as she followed Angel downstairs.
Angel sat the suitcase down with a grunt and Cordelia sat the overnight bag on top, laying their jackets on top.
Gunn had returned with their supplies and was busy filling the cooler with ice. "Hey," he greeted them. "I got enough blood to last you for about a month. Figured it's better to be safe than sorry," he said, pushing the aforementioned blood into the ice. "I also got water, tea and soda," he said, closing the lid.
"Thanks, Gunn," Angel told him.
"Where's Fred and Wes?" Cordy asked.
Gunn shrugged. "Last I saw, they were in the kitchen."
"Here we are," Fred said, holding a bag. Wes followed her, holding a bag of his own.
"What's all that?" Angel asked.
"Food. Supplies. So you won't have to go out as much," Wes told them.
"I hadn't thought of that," Cordelia admitted. "Thanks."
"Well, I think that's everything," Angel said. "The sun has set so let's get this stuff loaded into the car," he said, shrugging into his jacket as Cordy did the same. He picked up the suitcase as Cordelia picked up the overnight bag. Gunn lifted the cooler and Wes and Fred carried their supplies.
Outside, they loaded the suitcase, overnight bag and supplies into the trunk and put the cooler in the backseat.
"You have the reservations, right?" Wes asked.
"Yeah, right here," Cordelia said, indicating her purse.
"Well, we'll see you in a couple of weeks," Cordy told them, hugging first Wes and then Fred and Gunn. "Take care of each other."
"We'll have our phones if there's an emergency," Angel told them. "But only if there's an emergency," he said, smiling. "Thanks for everything."
Angel held the door open for Cordelia and then slid in beside her. He put the key in the ignition and turned it with a smile. Cordelia grabbed his free hand as he pulled away from the curb. "Bye, guys," he told the gang, waving.
"Bye," they chorused behind them as he pulled into traffic with the woman he loved.