Title: A Christmas Love
Word Count: 1615
Spoilers: To Shanshu in L.A., Birthday
Summary: It's Angel and Cordelia's wedding day.
Disclaimer: If you recognize them, they belong to Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt. Otherwise, they're mine.
Author's Note: Written for afteriwake for the Christmas 2009 gift exchange at whedon_santa. Merry Christmas!
Fresh from his shower, Angel slipped on his boxers and black tuxedo pants. He pulled on his white undershirt and put his arms through the white shirt, buttoning each tiny button. He had just put the red tie around his neck when there was a knock at his door.
"Come in," he called.
The door opened to reveal Lorne. "Hey, Angelkins."
Angel looked up from where he was attempting to tie the tie around his neck, but his hands were shaking too badly to do much. "Hey, Lorne."
Lorne smiled. "Need some help."
Angel nodded. "Please."
"How are you doing?" Lorne asked as he brought the narrow end of the tie up through the middle and then down again.
Angel held out his shaking hands. "Nervous," he admitted. "But I don't understand why."
Lorne brought the narrow end of the tie back up and pushed it down through the loop in back. He tightened the knot and smiled. "It's only natural," he told his friend.
"What do you mean?" Angel asked as he sat down and put on his socks.
"Angel, things are going to change for you after today."
Angel slipped on his shoes, tying them and then looked up at Lorne. "But I've loved her for so long I can't remember what it was like not to," he told the green demon.
"That's not what I mean," Lorne told him. "After today, you'll be partners, soulmates. Lovers. It won't be just you anymore, Angel. You'll always have another to share everything with. Not just the good, but the bad as well. A partner to share the load."
Understanding reached Angel's eyes. "Yeah, I will," he agreed, a soft smile gracing his face for just an instant, but it was enough. Enough to tell Lorne he understood the implications completely.
Angel stood up and pulled on his tuxedo jacket, buttoning only the top button. "How's she doing?"
Lorne smiled. "About as well as you were, I think." Lorne looked at Angel and smiled. "I had a chat with her, too."
Walking to the door, Angel smiled at his friend. "Been playing psychologist today, Lorne?"
Lorne laughed. "Something like that."
Cordelia pulled her wedding gown over her head and waited for Fred to zip her up. She moved to stand in front of the full-length mirror. She put the necklace Angel had given her last night around her neck and smiled at her reflection. It was a journey diamond curve pendant in white gold. Slipping the matching earrings into her ears, she remembered what he'd told her. "Our journey is just beginning," he'd said, love shining in his dark eyes. She dabbed perfume onto her wrists before adding the matching bracelet and completing the set.
Cordelia turned to Fred. "How do I look?" she asked.
"Oh, Cordy, you look beautiful," Fred told her. "You're going to take his breath away."
Cordelia laughed. "Well, with the whole vampire thing, that's probably not that hard."
Fred smiled. "Maybe not," she agreed, "but you look amazing."
Downstairs, the Hyperion Hotel had gotten a complete transformation. The lobby was decorated in Christmas red and green as far as the eye could see. There were red roses and poinsettias throughout. A large Christmas wreath with a red velvet bow hung on the wall over where the altar was set up near where Angel and Cordy always sat on the Hyperion's steps to have one of their many heart-to-heart talks. They'd thought it was the perfect place. After all, it was the place Angel had asked her to spend the rest of her life very long life with him.
When she'd become part demon, they'd learned of another side effect of her demonness. Because she'd become part demon for Angel, she would live however long he did. If he died, so did she. On the day he shanshued and became human again, so would she. They'd learned of another effect, as well. Because she wasn't fully human, they would be able to make love like any other married couple on the planet. They could enjoy the life of any normal married couple.
The gray circular sofa that usually occupied the lobby's center had been removed, making room for white chairs to fill the large space for their guests. On the back of each chair, a piece of green garland and red velvet bow had been hung.
Angel stood at the altar, his best man and groomsman by his side. Wesley and Gunn stood beside Angel, small smiles on their faces. They couldn't have been happier for their two friends.
Cordelia's maid of honor and bridesmaid made their way down the aisle and turned to wait for the bride. Fred wore a very pretty red satin dress with spaghetti straps. Her hair was piled atop her head, a few tendrils on either side of her head.
As the music began playing, the guests stood and turned their attention to the staircase as Cordelia made her way downstairs on Lorne's arm. Walking down the aisle, Cordelia had eyes only for Angel. When her eyes met his, all her nervousness seemed to disappear.
Cordelia was dressed in a pure white wedding gown, pearls covering the bodice. Angel had never seen anything so lovely. She was breathtaking.
Lorne walked her down the aisle and placed her hand in Angel's.
"Who gives this woman to be married to this man?"
Lorne smiled. "We do," he said, his eyes moving from Fred to Wes and Gunn. With those simple words, he took his seat as the ceremony began.
"Do you, Angel, take this woman to be your wife? Do you promise to love and cherish her in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live?"
"I do," Angel promised.
"Do you, Cordelia, take this man to be your husband? Do you promise to love and cherish him in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live?"
Cordelia smiled. "I do."
"The rings, please," the minister said.
Wesley and Fred handed them to him. "Angel," he said, handing Angel the wedding band he'd bought for Cordelia. "Please repeat after me. With this ring, I thee wed."
Angel held Cordelia's hand and slid the ring halfway onto her finger. "With this ring, I thee wed," he told her, sliding it the rest of the way on.
"Cordelia, please repeat after me. With this ring, I thee wed."
Cordelia held Angel's hand and slid the ring partially onto his finger. "With this ring, I thee wed," she told him, sliding the ring the rest of the way onto his finger.
The minister turned to Angel with a smile. "You may kiss your bride."
Angel smiled and leaned into Cordy, kissing her with more tenderness and love than she'd ever felt before. When they pulled apart, the minister announced, "I give you Mr. and Mrs. Angel."
Taking Cordy's arm, he led her down the aisle, where they waited to greet their guests in the receiving line. For three minutes, they were completely alone while the rest of the wedding party made their way down the aisle, as well. Angel pulled Cordy to him, where she wrapped her arms around his waist. "I love you, Angel," she whispered, looking into his eyes, which seemed to sparkle with the happiness he was feeling.
"And I love you, Cordy. So very much," he told her, kissing her softly.
Upstairs , the ballroom had been transformed from a dusty old room into a Christmas ball. Poinsettias decorated each table. Mistletoe hung over the bridal table where the bride and groom would sit. A band waited to kick this celebration into gear.
After the announcement of their arrival, toasts were made by Wesley.
"Angel, Cordelia," he began. "I've watched you both come so far in such a short time. Cordelia, you grew from spoiled rich girl to the amazing woman before us all. Angel, you went from a soulless monster to the good man you are today. As great as those changes were, though, the greatest moments didn't happen until you found each other. The moment you realized you were in love and admitted it, your whole lives changed. You became these carefree and lighthearted people. Oh, you still fought the monsters of the city--and will continue to do so. But love changed you. You're happy. And it couldn't happen to two more deserving people." Wesley lifted his glass in a toast. "To Angel and Cordy."
For their part, Angel and Cordy fought back tears as the words Wesley had spoken reached out and touched their hearts.
After dinner, it was time for the first dance. Angel took Cordy in his arms as Feels Like Home began playing. Cordy looked into his eyes, and seeing the happiness there, smiled her trademark smile. "I love you so much, Angel."
Angel only smiled and brushed his lips across hers. "And I love you. You make me so happy, Cordy."
Cordy lay a hand on his cheek. "And you make me happier than I ever thought possible."
Four hours later, it was time to leave for their honeymoon. As they made their way out of the Hyperion's doors, the guests blew bubbles and From This Moment played, a fitting start to their lives together.
Hand-in-hand, they laughed as they made their way to Angel's black convertible and their destination. "Aspen, here we come," Angel smiled, pulling out onto the highway.
Beside him, Cordy smiled and held his hand, loving the man she now called her husband more than she ever thought possible. She couldn't imagine a more perfect day.