Title: Christmas Memories
Word Count: 1409
Spoilers: A spoiler-free zone.
Summary: It's Christmas time at the Hyperion.
Disclaimer: If you recognize them, they belong to Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt. Otherwise, they're mine.
Author's Note: Written for luna_potterhead for the Christmas 2009 gift exchange at whedon_santa. Merry Christmas!
Angel watched Cordelia from across the room. She whispered something to Lorne, who nodded and walked off. She caught his eye and smiled, a tender expression sparkling from within their hazel depths. He smiled softly.
She slowly made her way to his side and sat down. "Hey, Baby," she whispered, threading her fingers through his.
"Hi, my love," he responded, pulling her against his chest. "Having fun?" he asked, indicating the Christmas party that was going on around them.
She nodded and looked around the decorated lobby. An eight-foot tree filled the corner, tastefully decorated with round christmas balls of gold, silver, blue, green and red. Multi-colored lights made the tinsel sparkle. An angel sat atop the tree. It had brown hair and hazel eyes that Angel insisted looked just the woman he adored. Below, presents waited to be unwrapped.
Mistletoe was hung intermittently throughout the hotel's lobby, ready to catch an unsuspecting couple at any moment. Though Angel suspected it had been hung just so they'd have a reason to kiss. Not that they needed a reason, he mused with a smile.
"Can I have your attention, everyone?" Lorne's voice rose above the chatter. When the talk had quieted, he continued. "It's time to open presents." He looked to the couple on the sofa. "Angel, Cordy, do you want to do the honors?"
Cordy smiled. "You go ahead, Lorne."
Lorne smiled and nodded and pulled out the first gift. "Fred," he read, handing the young brunette a small box covered in snowmen.
Fred ripped through the paper and lifted the lid of the box. Inside, she found two first class round-trip plane tickets to Texas. The departure date read December 23 and didn't return until two weeks later. She could go home for Christmas. She looked up as a tear fell. "Thank you," she whispered, rushing over to hug Angel and Cordy.
"You're welcome, Fred," Angel smiled.
Lorne pulled out the next gift. "Wesley."
Wesley carefully tore off the large flat box covered in Christmas trees.
"Come on, Wes. Rip it off. You're not saving the paper," Gunn told him with a laugh.
Wes smiled, shrugged and did as Gunn suggested. He ripped through the paper. Inside, he found a book, but not just any book. This was the rarest of books. It contained every spell ever written. Wesley had long desired a book such as this. "Thank you," he told the couple, already paging through the book.
Cordy grinned at Angel. "You're welcome, Wes."
Lorne read the tag of the next gift in his hands. "Gunn."
Gunn quickly tore off the large reindeer-covered box. Inside, he found not only the complete collection of Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Harrison Ford movies, but also a MacBook on which to watch them. For once, he was speechless.
When his speech returned, he turned Angel and Cordy. "Thank you."
"Lorne, open yours next," Cordy told their green-skinned friend.
Lorne smiled and nodded. Lorne pushed a few gifts aside, looking for the one that bore his name. Picking it up, he pulled away the paper to find a picture of his old club, now completely destroyed from the prevention of the last Apocalypse. He was confused at first, but then comprehension began to dawn when he noticed the décor in the picture differed from that of how he'd decorated Caritas in the last remodel. "Oh, my God," he whispered.
"It'll be ready for customers by the first of the year," Angel told him.
Cordy thought she saw a tear sparkle within Lorne's red eyes. "Angelkins, I don't know what to say," he admitted.
Angel smiled. "It was the least we could do after everything you've done for us."
"Thank you," Lorne told them, knowing it was wholly inadequate for the gift he'd just received, but wanting to express his gratitude just the same.
Lorne turned back to the tree and retrieved a small box. He smiled and handed it to the vampire he was blessed to call his friend.
Angel smiled at the woman at his side and tore open the wrapping. Lifting the lid of the box inside, he discovered a photo album filled with photographs. Opening it, the first section was marked 'Beginnings'. Turning the page, he found page after page of pictures of himself as a baby, small boy and then as he grew, ending with a photograph taken on his last birthday as a human. The next section was titled 'Finding Your Way'. He found pictures of himself from when he stayed here at the Hyperion in the 50s. 'Friends' came next, where he found pictures of Buffy and the rest of the Scooby gang. Finally, he came to the last section in the album. It was called 'Family'. There were pictures of Fred, Wesley, Gunn, Lorne and Cordelia separately and in various combinations. As he turned the last page, a lump formed in his throat. It was a picture of just Angel and Cordy. In it, Angel held Cordy's face in his hands. They were kissing with such love and tenderness. They hadn't even know the picture was even being taken until much later.
"Oh, Cordy. Thank you."
Cordy smiled at the man she loved. "You're welcome."
"There should be one more, Lorne," Angel told him.
Lorne retrieved the gift and handed it to Cordy. "Here you go, Princess."
Taking it from him, she tore into it like a little girl on Christmas. Angel smiled at her enthusiasm. She lifted the lid of the tiny box and gasped. She looked into the eyes of the vampire at her side. "Cordy, I love you with everything I am or will ever be. You are the reason I get up in the morning and the reason I fight. No matter what happens, as long as you are by my side, I know everything will be okay. You are the sunshine when the darkness threatens, you are the love of my life. What I'm trying to say is, Cordelia Chase, will you marry me?"
Cordy's eyes had filled the moment he had begun to speak. Now, they fell silently down her face. She nodded. "Yes. Yes, Angel, I will marry you."
Angel thought his heart would burst with happiness. He slipped the diamond engagement ring onto the third finger of her left hand. He looked at it and smiled, thinking how right it looked. Brushing her tears away, he leaned in and kissed her tenderly. "I love you, Cordy."
"I love you, too, Angel. So very much."
Lorne pulled out one last gift from the very back of the Christmas tree. "There's one more gift," he told the newly-engaged couple. "It's from all of us." He handed it to Angel with a smile. "It says Angel, but it's really for both of you."
Angel tore away the Santa-covered paper to reveal a box about the size of their Angel Investigations business card. Opening it, he pulled out a small bottle. He could see it contained a liquid of some sort, but no label indicated what might be inside.
"What is it?" he asked, looking at Fred, Wes, Gunn and Lorne.
"Your future," Fred answered with a smile.
Angel looked at her in confusion. "What do you mean."
"It's a potion, Angel. It makes your soul permanent."
Angel looked from Fred to the bottle to Cordy and smiled. A smile slowly spread across Cordy's face as well. "Drink it," she whispered.
Angel pulled off the top and swallowed the contents in one long gulp. "How will I know if it worked?"
"You'll feel an increased sense of euphoria for about a minute," Wes answered.
Angel grinned. "It's working."
A minute later, he was back to his normal. Happy, but feeling normal.
Lorne turned on some soft Christmas music as couples swayed to the music.
"Look," he told Wes, Fred and Gunn, indicating Angel and Cordy. Angel had pulled her into his arms and wrapped his arms around her. Her head lay on his chest, her own arms encircling his waist. They were lost in each other's eyes.
"They look happier than I've ever seen them before," Gunn commented.
"Yes, they do," Wes agreed with a smile.
"It's Kyrumption," Fred told them.
Lorne nodded his head in agreement. "And moira," he added.
The four watched their friends with a smile. Kyrumption indeed.
It was the best Christmas any of them could ever remember having.