Title: Forgiveness

Author: Aimee

Beta: Dev

Rating: PG

Spoilers: Apocalypse, Nowish, Long Day's Journey

Pairing: Angel/Cordelia

Summary: Cordelia is sorry.

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

Angel sat in his room at the Hyperion, researching through several books. The floor was littered with dozens of sketches he'd drawn of the Beast. He was lost in thought when there was a knock on the door. "What is it?" he asked, without getting up.

"It's me. I know I don't have to be invited in, but it is polite," Cordelia told him from the other side of his door.

"Go away, Cordelia," he told her.

Cordelia opened the door and entered, shutting it softly behind her. "Well, you know that never works," she told him. She walked to the chair next to Angel's, picked up the book lying there and tossed it onto the floor. She sat down, saying nothing for a moment, hoping Angel would say something, anything, but he wouldn't even look at her. "I don't know where to start," she admitted.

Angel shut the book he was reading, stood and waked away. "Skip to the end where you leave and we don't talk about it."

"Aren't you going to ask how Connor's doing?" she asked him.

"Yeah, like I really want a progress report," he told her, walking to the table, which was covered in papers.

"That's not what I meant. He's scared to death, Angel. Scared that you think he's connected to the Beast," she told him.

Angel rifled through the papers, picking some up and looking at them. "Well, you know, it does tend to show up whenever he's around."

"I swear. Like father, like son. The two of you have cornered the market on teenage snits. How about you stop being angry at me--"

Angel banged his hands on the table and turned to face Cordy. "How about you stop pretending to give a damn about my feelings," he said, angrily.

"I do give a damn," Cordelia told him, standing and walking towards him. "In fact, I give a whole lot of damn. That's why I came over here. To tell you--" she faltered, looking down.

Angel sighed, calming down. "To tell me what?" he asked.

When she looked up at him again, tears were glistening in her eyes. "To tell you how sorry I am. I'm sorry I hurt you. It was the last thing I ever wanted to do," she told him softly as tears fell down her pretty face.

Angel let out a breath he didn't need and gently led her to the sofa he had recently vacated. "Hey. Don't cry, Cordy," he told her softly, all his anger gone.

His gentleness only made her cry harder. "After what I did and you're still good to me? Why?" she asked through her tears.

He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her close. "It's simple, really," he whispered. "I just hate to see you cry."

Cordelia sobbed.

"Why?" he asked when her tears had subsided. He was referring to the night before.

Cordelia took a deep breath and pulled away to look at him. "I was lost and scared. I wanted to be with you, but I didn't feel like you'd want me," she admitted, looking away.

"Cordy, there's nothing you could do that would make me not want you. God, do you know how much I love you? That's why it hurt so much seeing you with him."

"You want me, even after what I did?" she asked in disbelief.

He smiled a half little smile. "Yes. I do."

Cordy took a breath, trying to calm her emotions. "Can you ever forgive me?" she asked quietly.

Angel brushed away her tears with the tips of his fingers and smiled gently. "I already have."

"Oh, God," she said, her eyes filling with tears again at his soft words.

"Come here," he told her, opening his arms. She fell into them and he wrapped them around her, just holding her.

He sighed.

Cordelia looked up at him. "What is it? What's wrong?"

Angel shook his head. "Nothing. It's just--"

"What?"

"It's just been so long since I've held you, even in just a hug. First, you didn't remember who I was and then when you did remember, you wanted nothing to do with me. I missed you," he whispered.

"Oh, Angel," she said, laying a hand on the side of his face. "I need you to know that while I could see everything you ever did as Angelus, it doesn't matter anymore. All I care about is you, Angel—the man I fell in love with," she told him. Then, after a pause, "I missed you."

"I love you so much, Cordy."

Cordy smiled. "I love you, Angel," she told him before finally brushing her lips across his in a sweet, gentle kiss. It was perfect.