Title: Bedtime Story

Author: Aimee

Beta: Dev

Word Count: 296

Rating: PG

Spoilers: A spoiler-free zone.

Pairing: Angel/Cordelia

Summary: Bedtime in the Angel household.

Disclaimer: If you recognize them, they belong to Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt. Otherwise, they're mine. The Velveteen Rabbit belongs to Margery Williams.

Author's Note: Part of the Journey series.

Cordelia leaned against the doorframe, watching the scene before her. Angel was lying on Hope's princess-covered bed, his back pressed against the pillows. Hope was lying on his chest, his arm wrapped around her as he read The Velveteen Rabbit to her in a soft voice.

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real," Angel read, glancing down at their daughter. Hopes's eyes were slowly drifting shut. She never made it past this part.

At the doorway, Cordelia smiled. Of all the things Angel was, he was a wonderful husband and father most of all. She and Hope had truly gotten the best of him.

Angel slowly stood, lifting Hope into his arms. He pulled back her blankets and gently lowered the sleeping child into her bed, tucking her floppy-eared bunny in beside her. He covered her with the blankets and kissed her goodnight. "Good night, Princess," he whispered.

Turning to leave, he saw his wife standing there and smiled. "How long have you been standing there?" he asked.

"Not long," she answered, slipping her hand in his.

"Come on," he told her, leading her away from Hope's bedroom.

"Where are we going?"

He smiled, his eyes clearly showing her how much he adored her. "I want to show you how much I love you," he said, leading her to the bedroom and shutting the door softly behind them.

"I love you, Angel."

"I love you, too, Cordy. So much." The only other sounds were of quiet moans as a husband and wife shut out the world and focused on each other.