AN: Takes place in an alternate universe where Buffy is in L.A. during S5, and Cordelia wakes up for real.
Prompt: Angel/Cordelia; making it work.
Cordelia wandered out of the bathroom after her shower and was met with the sight of Angel carrying extra blankets out to the living room.
"I feel bad." She stated causing him to look up. "You've been sleeping on the couch for two weeks."
"Yeah, well. No big deal. You need a place to stay."
"True. But I can sleep on the couch, I don't mind. Or. I guess I could always go to the Hyperion."
Angel dropped the blankets on a chair, and sat down on the couch. "Do you want to go to the Hyperion?"
She pulled a face. "Do I want to go live in the Western United States Slayer Headquarters? No. Not unless, you're desperate to get rid of me."
"I'm not desperate to get rid of you." He muttered under his breath.
She smiled, but gave no other indication that se had heard him. "Besides, Spike's living there now. So who knows what sort of mentally scarring super-being extracurriculars I might walk in on?" She gave an exaggerated shudder.
But seriously. After last week, she might never be the same. She just hoped that the conference room table had been deeply sterilized. Or possibly burned.
Angel chuckled, but still refused to look at her.
Which, it turned out, was the final straw. He'd been pulling this weird avoidance crap for more than a week, and she was done.
"Okay Champ." Cordelia sighed, and dropped onto the couch next to Angel. "What's up?"
He fidgeted in place, edging slightly away from her. "What do you mean what's up?"
She rolled her eyes. "Don't give me that, mister. You've been twitchy and weird around me since I got back. Well, I guess you're pretty twitchy and weird around everyone, but especially around me. Did I- Did I do something?"
Angel turned flabbergasted eyes on her. "No! No, Cordy, you didn't do anything. I did something."
She regarded him warily. When Angel was bemoaning something he'd done, it had an unsettling track record of turning out badly. Or it would turn out to be him blowing something far out of proportion. One of those two. But it still never hurt to be careful.
"What'd you do?"
"I made some bad choices. Did things I thought I had to do, and now I'm starting to see the cost."
"And by 'bad choices,' you mean… making a deal with evil incarnate and taking over their L.A. branch?"
His shoulders sagged. "Yeah. Like that."
Cordelia reached over and laid her hand on his arm. "Angel. You did the only thing you could to save your family. To save Connor."
Angel pulled her hand from his arm into his lap, and covered it with his own. "And you."
"And me." She agreed softly. "And you know, that no matter what you do, and no matter what strange decisions you make, everyone is still on your side. We trust you. Me, Wes, Gunn, Fred, Lorne. We've seen the good you can do, the way you help people. We trust you."
"Buffy doesn't. She thinks I'm up to something. So does Giles. And probably Spike. Everyone from Sunnydale, really."
"Have you tried to explain things to them? So that they know you didn't just up and decide to work with Wolfram and Hart one day? Have you told anyone about Connor? Have you told Buffy?"
"No. I don't know if she'd…understand what I did."
Cordelia arched an eyebrow. "Yeah, because the girl who threw herself off a tower to save her sister definitely wouldn't understand making tough decisions to protect family."
Angel grinned a little guiltily. "It's possible that you may have a point there."
"Oh, I definitely have a point there. Besides, whenever the inevitable big scary evil goes down, you're going to want her on your side. And all her little baby slayers. And the rest of the Scoobies."
"Not Spike, though."
"Sure. If that's what you need to tell yourself."
Angel ignored her last comment and dropped his head to the back of the couch. "Okay. I'll talk to Buffy. Just Buffy. But not tonight."
"No, not tonight."
She squeezed his hand. "Hey." She whispered. "Look at me."
He rolled his head to the side, finally meeting her eyes.
"I trust you. Alright?"
He smiled. A real smile, something she hadn't seen in far too long. "Yeah, alright."
"So we're good?"
Cordelia glanced at the pile of blankets sitting on the chair, and then down at their joined hands.
"Do you maybe want to sleep in your own bed tonight? With me?"
His head snapped up so fast she wouldn't have been surprised to find he had whiplash.
"Wha- I-uh. Huh?"
She chuckled. "Calm down Spazzy. I'm not trying to take advantage of your oh-so-important virtue. I'm just suggesting we share the bed. I really do feel bad about you sleeping on the couch."
Later, when they were lying side-by-side and Cordelia was nearly asleep, Angel's voice cut the silence.
She shifted her body to face him. "Yeah?"
His hand nudged against her thigh, under the covers. "I, um, I still…"
Her heart made a strangled sort of jump in her chest, and she rolled closer to him, pressing a soft, sleepy kiss into his bare shoulder.
"Yeah. Me too."