Title: Key to My Heart
Word Count: 1011
Summary: Angel visits Cordelia in her coma.
Disclaimer: If you recognize them, they belong to Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt. Otherwise, they're mine.
Author's Note: This happens around You're Welcome, but before the phone call that told Angel Cordelia had woken up.
Angel sank into the chair beside Cordy and took her hand in his. "Good morning, Cordy," he whispered. The morning felt anything but good in his mind, though. He looked into her face; she was still as beautiful as ever. She looked peaceful; he only hoped she was at peace. "I miss you," he choked out, trying to suppress the tears that threatened to consume him, but failing miserably. Admitting defeat, he sobbed.
Somewhere within the depths of her mind, Cordy heard his pain and in that moment, she responded in the only way she could. She squeezed his hand.
Angel looked up in surprise, sure he was imagining it, but when he looked up Cordy's hazel eyes were looking back at him with concern. "Don't cry," she whispered. She slowly pushed herself up from her pillow, but her weakened state caused her to drop back down. When she tried again, she was aided by one very helpful vampire. She patted the bed next to her, indicating she wanted him to join her there. He gladly acquiesced and sat down beside her.
"Cordy," he whispered in disbelief, sure he'd wake up any moment and she'd still be in a coma.
"Angel, it's me and I'm awake," she told him, knowing his thoughts like they were her own. "Now do I get a hug or do I have to beg?"
Angel smiled for the first time in months. He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her tightly to him. For her part, Cordy wrapped her own arms around the man sitting beside her, suddenly realizing how much she'd missed him. The reality of Cordy being awake hit Angel. Hard. Cordy felt his silent tears as they fell down his face and onto her. She rubbed his back, calming him in the only way she knew how: with her very presence. And it did calm him.
Pulling back, he looked into her face and smiled softly. "I missed you so much," he whispered.
She just looked at him for a moment, a soft smile on her own face. "I missed you, too, Angel."
Angel studied her face and knew it was time. Time to finally let her know what was in his heart. "Cordy, the truth is I love you. I've been to hell and back and thought I knew hell. I didn't. These months without you have been the very definition of hell. The moment you were taken from me, my life lost all meaning. You have been my anchor for so long I didn't know how to live without you. And I didn't want to," he admitted. "You are my reason, my life, my everything. I love you, Cordelia Chase."
A trademark Cordelia Chase smile had slowly spread across her face. She took his hand in hers. "I love you, too, Angel. Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with you. I love your passion and honesty, but most of all, I love your heart. When I look back, you've always shown me how much you love me." Remembering, she continued, "You even sent me off onto a vacation with another man because you thought it was what I deserved and wanted, but it wasn't." She could see the question shining in his dark eyes. "I only wanted you, Angel. It's always been you. I love you with everything I am or will ever be."
And with those words, Cordy softly brushed her lips across his in a kiss that both sweet and passionate at the same time. Pulling apart, Cordy asked, "Hold me?"
"There is nothing I would like more," he admitted, sliding against the bed and pulling her into his arms. She lay her head on his chest and wrapped her arms around his waist.
"How long have I been gone? What day is it?" she asked after a few minutes.
Angel smiled. "You've been in a coma for six months," he told her. "It's my birthday."
"Was my bag brought in with me?"
He nodded. "Yeah. Why?"
"Will you get it for me?" she asked.
"Sure." He reached over onto the nightstand on his right. "Here it is," he told her, handing it to her.
Cordy sat up and opened it. She pulled out a small box and handed it to him. "I bought this for you just before I was made a higher being."
Angel tore off the navy blue wrapping and opened the box in his hands. Inside, he found two sterling silver necklaces nestled inside on a bed of cotton. One was a heart, the other a key. "The key to my heart," he whispered.
Cordy nodded. "Yes. I was planning on telling you how I felt about you even then; I was just working up the nerve."
Cordy took the key from him and slipped it around his neck, fastening it. Angel removed the heart from where it lay and dropped it around her neck, securing it with a kiss to her neck. Turning around, she smiled. "Happy Birthday, Angel."
He framed her face with his hands, just looking into her face. "Thank you. You are my life."
Cordy smiled. "And you are mine."
Smiling, Angel lay back down and pulled her back into his arms once again. Cordy leaned up and kissed him softly. "Thank you."
"For being you. For being here. Most men would have left after I fell into a coma and didn't wake for months."
"I'm not most men."
"No, you're not," she agreed. "And I'm grateful for that fact more and more."
"How's it feel?" he asked after a few minutes.
"How's what feel?"
"Loving a vampire."
"Amazing." A bright smile covered her face.
"You're amazing," he told her, smiling.
Suddenly serious, "I love you so much, Angel."
"And I love you, Cordy."
And with those words, Angel pulled her tighter and closed his eyes, content in the knowledge that when he woke Cordy would be there. Cordy kissed him once more and closed her own eyes. Their future had never looked so bright.