Title: Stay

Author: Aimee

Beta: Dev

Rating: PG

Spoilers: A spoiler-free zone.

Pairing: Angel/Cordelia

Summary: Cordy wakes up Angel.

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

"Hello," he answered the ringing telephone, his voice husky from sleep.

"Angel," she whispered as tears slipped down her face. Quickly brushing them away, she tried to stop the flow of tears, but it wasn't working. The tears she'd wiped away were promptly replaced by the ones falling down her face.

"Cordy, what's wrong?" Angel asked, fully awake now.

Cordy tried to hold back the sob that bubbled forth, but was unable to do so. Still holding the phone, Angel threw back his blankets and started pulling on clothes. "I'm coming over," he told her, slipping on his jacket and picking up his keys.

"Angel, you don't have to do that," she argued. "I'll be fine." The quiver in her voice betrayed her words, though.

"I'm coming over, Cordy," he repeated. "Besides, I'm already on my way."

"Okay," she told him, her voice barely a whisper. "I'll see you soon." Hanging up her telephone, she went to unlock the door and then crawled back into bed to wait.

***

Ten minutes later, she heard a soft click as Angel let himself into her apartment, closing the door quietly behind him. "Cordy?" he called in that tender voice he reserved just for her.

"In here, Angel," she called, knowing he'd follow the sound of her voice.

Shedding his leather jacket, he tossed it onto a chair before hurrying to her side. When he entered her bedroom, what he saw there made his chest ache. Cordy was lying in her bed, blankets pulled up to her chin and curled into a ball.

He quickly climbed in beside her, gently pulling the blankets away that were hiding her face. "Come here," he told her, holding his arms open to her. She fell into them, sobbing. Angel pulled her tightly to him, just holding her. "Shh, it's okay, Cordy. I'm here," he whispered into her ear, hoping his words would be enough to calm her.

Fifteen minutes and a lot of soothing words from Angel and Cordy's tears finally stopped. "Talk to me. What happened?" Angel asked.

"I had a dream," she told him softly. "A nightmare."

"Must have been a bad one," he commented, rubbing circles on her back, waiting for her to continue.

"Yeah," she whispered. "I've been having this recurring dream for weeks now, only I never saw the end. I see fire, then a man from behind, but I always wake up after that."

"Until tonight," he said.

He saw her nod her head in the moonlight. "Until tonight," she confirmed. "Tonight the man turned around. It was you, Angel. You were on fire and you died. I've never been so scared, never felt more alone."

"Hey," he told her softly. "It was just a nightmare. I'm okay."

She nodded against his chest, afraid if she said anything she'd burst into tears again. Angel held her, hoping his mere presence would bring her the comfort she needed so desperately.

And it did. It took awhile, but she slowly began to feel better. She yawned, her eyes drifting shut.

"I should go, let you go back to sleep."

She shook her head. "No. Stay."

Angel smiled.

"I love you, Angel."

"I love you, too, Cordy."

Cordy smiled as her eyes drifted shut. Tomorrow, they would discuss those three little words they'd finally uttered, but for now, the knowledge that they were loved was enough. And they slept.