Spoilers: Apocalypse, Nowish, You're Welcome
Summary: Angel comforts Cordelia.
Disclaimer: If you recognize them, they belong to Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt. Otherwise, they're mine.
Author's Note: Cordelia has woken up from her coma for real.
Cordelia sat at Wesley's desk reading through volumes of text while Wesley paced the room, also reading. The desk was covered with dozens of thick, old books. Cordelia stopped reading and looked up. "Remember how I said let's not have your department looking for those symbols I saw in my vision, let's do this like we used to, you and me cracking the books?"
Yes," Wesley told her.
Well, that was dumb. What'd you ever listen to me for?"
I don't know. I think I sort of missed this. You and me and the books, kicking it old school, as they say," he told her. He winced then. "And I never will again."
Cordelia chuckled. "Wes?" she said, standing and walking towards her friend. "Last year, when that, um, higher―whatever, took over my body, did those things. Nobody's talking about it," she said, smiling sadly and looking at Wesley, concerned.
Wesley sat down on the arm of a chair and looked at her. "What's to say? We all understand it wasn't you."
You didn't kill Lilah," Wesley told her.
I know. Still―I'm sorry," she told him as tears began to fall.
Wesley put his book down, stood up and gently led her to the chair he'd been sitting on. "Cordy, please don't blame yourself for what happened."
Cordelia's tears turned to sobs.
Wesley knew only one thing, only one man could help her. He picked up the phone, hitting 1 on his speed dial.
This is Angel," the vampire answered on the other end of the line.
It's Wes. Can you come to my office, please?"
Sure. I'll be right there."
Two minutes later, Angel knocked on Wesley's door.
Come in," Wes called.
When Angel opened the door, he saw Wesley trying to calm the woman he loved more than life itself. He hurried over to them and sat down. "Cordy, what's wrong?" he asked, putting his arm around her.
She's feeling guilty about everything that happened last year," Wes answered for her, rising. Wesley left the two of them alone, closing the door softly behind him.
Cordy threw her arms around Angel, sobbing. Angel pulled her into his lap, holding her close, whispering words of comfort in her ear.
Cordy, talk to me," he told her when she'd calmed down.
I'm so sorry" she whispered, looking up at him. "I'm sorry for what happened with Connor, for hurting you," she told him, tenderly touching his face.
Angel lay his hand over hers where it rested against his face, bringing it down and kissing her palm. She smiled softly at the gesture. "Cordy, nothing that happened was your fault. That wasn't you."
It wasn't you, Cordy," he reiterated. "You would never betray your friends. You would never sleep with the boy you thought of as your own." He paused before continuing. "But most of all, you would never intentionally hurt me."
How can you forgive me so easily?" she asked, tearfully.
Angel smiled. "Well, it wasn't you, but even if it was, it wouldn't matter."
Because I love you," he told her, pushing a strand of dark hair behind her ear. "So very much."
I love you, too, Angel," she told him, a soft smile on her face. "How did I get so lucky?"
She nodded. "Yes. What did I do to deserve the love of the most wonderful man I've ever met? First, you were a familiar face, then my employer and then you became my friend. Somewhere along the way, you went from my best and dearest friend to the man I love more I ever thought possible."
You are my world," he told her simply. With those words, he gently stroked the side of her face and softly brushed his lips across hers in a kiss that was filled with such tenderness that it took her breath away.
When they pulled apart, she was smiling. It warmed Angel's unbeating heart. "How about a break from all this research?" he asked, indicating the piles of books.
What did you have in mind?"
A nap," he told her. "I want to you in my arms."
Cordelia smiled. "That sounds perfect."
Come on," he told her, standing and holding out his hand for her to take. She slipped her hand in his and followed him out the door.
They met Wesley halfway to Angel's office. "Thanks, Wes," Angel told their friend.
Wesley noted the look on Cordelia's face. She was calmer, happier. "My pleasure," he told his friend, smiling. "Where are you going now? Back to your office?"
We're going to take a break, a nap" Angel told the other man. "We'll be in my penthouse if you need anything." Angel paused, looking from Wes to the woman he loved. "Do me a favor?
Don't tell anyone where we are?"
You got it," Wes smiled. "If we need you, I'll come find you."
Thanks, Wes," Angel told him before he and Cordy walked into his office and stepped onto the private elevator that would take them to his penthouse and the bed he already thought of as theirs.