Of Break-Ups, Make-Ups & Stakeouts


AUTHOR: GABRIELLA
SUMMARY: Angel and Cordelia break up and the entire universe conspires to get them back together.
RATING: PG13
POSTED: 4 Mar 2009
CATEGORY: Fluff / Romance / Comedy
CONTENT/PAIRING: C/A – Set during AtS Season 3, Pre-Connor
WARNINGS: None Listed
FICPIC CREDIT: N/A
AUTHOR NOTES:
1) Thank you to Lysa for the beta and for suggesting I finally post something at AO.


A billion memories burned behind her eyelids – the touch of his fingertips, the burn of his lips, the soothing dip of his spine as it slid beneath the pads of her stretched, eager fingers…

A light dimming, fading in the distance.

“Cordy?” The voice at the door refused to leave her alone, refused to let her bury her head into her pillow and weep in peace. “Cordelia, please open the door.”

“No.” She mumbled, hiding beneath the covers, sliding the balls of her feet deep into the mattress as though it were made of sand. “Go away.”

Much to her dismay, the voice continued to disturb her not-so-peaceful slumber, and a few moments later, Fred stepped through the door.

“Dennis let me in.” She explained sheepishly, waving at Cordelia and taking a few cautious steps forward. “How are you?”

“Just dandy.” Cordy peeped out from beneath the covers, opening an eye to glare at her friend. “Why are you here?”

Fred perched on the very end of her bed, wrapping her hand around the slim bed frame. “We’re worried about you.”

“I’m fine.”

“No, you’re not.” Fred plucked at the ends of Cordy’s duvet, glancing up at her. “And that’s okay but – ”

Cordelia shot up in bed, angrily brushing her hair out of her face. “I’m FINE, Fred.”

Fred stared at her for a moment, sighing resignedly. “Look, I don’t know exactly why this happened…and I don’t think it’s even worth all this…” She continued swiftly when Cordy’s eyes narrowed, “What I mean is, I hate seeing you like this.”

“Like what?” Cordelia looked around her dishevelled bedroom, her arms flapping wildly. Empty tissue boxes and packets covered the ground, while a fortnight’s laundry lay unwashed in the hamper. Still, she didn’t need anyone’s pity. “What is *this* exactly?”

Fred raised an eyebrow in a fashion so similar to her own it almost made her smile. Almost. “Cordelia, you need to get out of this room.”

“I’ve been out.”

“Calling for Chinese from the living room doesn’t count.”

Cordelia glared lethally at her. “Why are you here, Fred? Did Gunn send you? Cos I have absolutely no – ”

“He didn’t send me.” Fred grabbed her hand, squeezing it. “You know I’ve always been a big fan of you and – ”

“Don’t.” Cordelia’s nails dug into the back of her hand and Fred paused momentarily, gathering a breath.

“Fine.” She looked up. “But…I have a proposition for you.”

Cordy raised both eyebrows suspiciously. “Which is?”

Fred smiled then, winking at her in a way that made Cordy wonder what the hell she’d gotten herself into. “I know the guys wouldn’t approve, but you just seem so down and if you’re not to going to make up with…he who shall not be named, then you should at least be happy in other ways and I -”

“FRED!” Cordelia grabbed her forehead, wondering if her ears were bleeding. “WHAT are you talking about?”

There was a pause. “A date.”

Angel had always been an observer – whether it was the heightened senses or his penchant for the artistic and aesthetic was unclear…though he enjoyed watching, waiting…voyeurism.

Had he been watching himself however, it pained him to know what he would have seen – hunched shoulders, creased, overhanging brow, and beneath it all, a shattered heart.

He missed her. Sure, she was here every day, filing and training – though now with Gunn – her heels clicking across the floor confidently as though without a care in the world. But it was as though she was a million miles away, a sacred treasure that he could no longer touch due to a stupid fight and some careless words he didn’t even mean.

Was she thinking about him? Was she going crazy the way he was? Did her body, mind and soul ache without him the way his did without her? Did her heart pound and stutter when he stepped an inch too close to look over her shoulder at something that he was barely paying attention to?

“Angel?”

Angel spun around, attempting a casual smile at Wesley as he helped himself to a cup of coffee. It didn’t come as easily without her…

“Evening.” He swallowed, took a seat behind the counter and waited. Waited, watched and wondered how to fix this. “You alright?”

“Fine.” Wesley smiled at him almost sympathetically and Angel resisted the urge to wince. “You’re the one I’m worried about.”

“I’m fine.”

“Of course you are.” Wesley released a resigned breath, wrapping his skinny fingers around the mug in his hands and heading towards his office. “You know where I am if you need to talk.”

He found himself beside his friend mere moments later, desperate to tell *someone* how he felt, desperate to fix this mess and have Cordelia slide her fingers through his once again. She had brought it out in him, this human behaviour…years ago he would have sulked, skulked and buried his emotions deep where no-one could find them.

“Just apologize, Angel.” Wesley said matter-of-factly, removing his glasses. “She’ll come around once she knows you didn’t mean whatever it was you said in the heat of the moment.”

Angel grimaced, leaning back in his seat. “I’ve left it too long to apologize.”

“So do the conventional thing.” Wesley made an odd gesture with his hands. “Flowers, chocolates…you know, all those ridiculous novelties women go for.”

“What’s this about ridiculous women?” Fred popped her head through the door, swiftly followed by Gunn who appeared to have just arrived, still suited in his raincoat and rather large winter boots.

Wesley cleared his throat, sitting up immediately. “Nothing at all. Good to see you’re both on time.” He glanced down at his watch, making a face. “Unlike certain members of our team…”

“Oh, she’s not coming tonight.” Fred said simply, dropping down into a seat beside the door and lifting a magazine off the table beside it.

Wesley frowned. “I beg your pardon?”

“Hmm? Oh…” Fred glanced up briefly, apparently too immersed in photographs of the latest Hollywood couple’s honeymoon to watch what she was saying. “She’s on a date.”

It didn’t occur to Angel to be smooth or calm or any of the qualities he’d perfected over the last two hundred years as a master vampire. Panic and rather unsurprisingly, sharp, sudden jealousy stabbed through his chest, causing him to surge up and out of his chair, his voice escaping rougher and louder than he’d initially intended.

He couldn’t control it.

“WHAT?!”

Fred jumped slightly and Angel felt momentarily guilty. He coughed, having the grace to take a step back when Wesley and Gunn stared at him. “I mean…she’s what?”

Fred closed the magazine, tossing it back onto the table, her face colouring beneath the weight of his stare. “Um…well…she was just…I guess I – ”

“Fred.” Gunn stopped her stammering, crossing his arms and leaning against the doorframe. “Spit it out.”

Fred took a deep breath and looked Angel in the eye. “I…I set her up. On a date.”

That’s what he thought she’d said. Angel’s jaw mirrored the awful, horrid, sinking feeling in his gut. It fell open, his eyes bulging wide. “WHAT?!”

“I just – I don’t – ” Fred got to her feet, a pleading look on her face as she approached him, her hands stretched out.

“You set her up on a date?!” Angel yelped, glaring at her. “She’s on a – she’s on a date!” He turned to Wes, pointing accusingly at Fred. “It’s been less than two weeks and she’s dating someone else?!”

Wesley made a face. “Angel, calm down -”

Angel turned back to Fred so fast he was surprised at the lack of whiplash. “How could you set her up with a GUY?”

Gunn raised an eyebrow. “As opposed to…?”

“Not helping, Gunn…” Wesley chastised.

“I’m sorry!” Fred exclaimed, her face contorting into that of a little girl who had done wrong. “It’s just that she’s been so depressed and – ”

“I’m depressed!” Angel jabbed a finger into his own chest, the volume of his voice making his friends wince. “Where’s MY date?! And who is this guy anyway? He could be anyone, a serial killer, an axe-murderer – what does he look like?”

“He goes to our gym.” Fred blurted out, frantically trying to placate Angel. “He’s just a nice guy, I swear – oh! I have a picture of him!”

The statement came out of nowhere and this time, Angel, Wes *and* Gunn all jerked their heads up to stare at her.

Wesley was the first to speak. “You have a picture of him?

“Yeah.” Fred lifted the magazine she’d been reading from the table, strolling all too leisurely over to them. “He’s a model.”

Angel felt like his brain would implode. “He’s a MODEL?!”

The bastard could have run in circles around him. On the catwalk anyway. Give Angel a small, dark space and his bare fists? Hell, he’d have emerged the victor…

“What kind of name is Brad anyway?” Angel growled, glaring accusatorily at the image of the guy in the magazine, clad in only designer underwear and a big, fat grin as he leaned against a doorframe. “Who the hell is called Brad?”

“Brad Pitt?” Fred offered rather unhelpfully and Wesley shook his head at her when Angel shoved the magazine off the table, crossing his arms.

“There’s no need to behave like a petulantly, Angel.” Wesley lifted the magazine and dropped it onto the counter. “I wouldn’t let it worry you. Cordelia is still very much in love with you and this…Brad fellow is probably just a rebound or a fling.”

“I bet he can’t wait to be flung…” Gunn quipped, backing up in his chair when Angel made a lunge for him.

“For god’s sake, just go talk to her.” Wesley snipped. “Do it tomorrow when she’s here and just explain yourself.”

“I’m sorry, Angel.” Fred said again, shrugging at him. “I just hated seeing her so sad…”

Angel sighed, leaned his head back in his seat and closing his eyes. “I’m an idiot.” He was grateful that none of them agreed with him. Aloud, anyway. “I’ll talk to her.”

“Good.” Wesley made a beeline for his office, stopping in his tracks when Gunn spoke.

“Just don’t stalk her tonight, man. And don’t stalk the guy and make him piss his pants either.”

Wesley made a face. “That was vivid.”

Angel opened an eye to glare at him. “Please. I would never do that.”

He didn’t have to keep his eyes open to know they were all looking at him, completely unconvinced.

“I had a great time tonight, Cordelia.”

Cordy smiled softly at Brad, a slight tingle in her fingers when he lifted them and kissed the back of her hand. Brad was absolutely gorgeous, tall, polite, rich…everything she’d always thought she’d wanted.

Until she’d met the man who changed her mind. And this guy wasn’t even a speck on him.

“Thank you, Brad. Dinner was lovely.” She smiled at him once again, squeezing his hand before releasing it. “I’ll uh, call you.”

“Great.” He grinned at her, charming, beautiful – and yet she felt nothing, nothing but a pang of sadness that despite the good looks and the dark hair, he wasn’t someone else.

“Goodnight.” He waited until she shut the door, a gentleman, and Cordy leaned against the wood, her eyes fluttering shut. “God Dennis, what is wrong with me?”

Here she was, on a date with this cute, sexy guy who she had absolutely no reason not to be attracted to and who made her feel better – albeit only slightly better but better nonetheless – about herself than she had in days…and yet…

Angel had said some things that had hurt her, made her want to hurt him, and yet now she considered that perhaps she’d blown it all out of proportion. He was always kind and wonderful, and she was a bitch more often than that when she wanted to be.

Dennis drew the curtains shut and Cordelia pulled her sweater off, undoing the button to her jeans and sliding them down her legs. She doubted a long bath would ease the ache in her heart in the long run but it would suffice for now.

What was that thing with the hand kissing? Yeesh. Angel rolled his eyes from where he’d been watching in his car, glaring as the model with the stupid name left the premises in his ridiculously flashy jaguar.

He’d promised not to stalk her, and not to threaten the date…but hell, he was a vampire. His friends should have been happy that he’d at least followed one of the two instructions.

His eyes closed momentarily, anger pounding through him at the sight of that guy walking his girlfriend home, kissing her hand, maybe even wanting to go inside –

Angel’s hand tightened around the stirring wheel and his eyes flashed open, yellow, before he blinked, breathing. The cool night air calmed him, and yet spurred him all at once as he grabbed the red bouquet of flowers and leaped out of the car, sprinting up the stairs to her apartment. He had to see her, had to set this right before it killed him.

He still had a key, which he slid into the lock, shoving the door open with such force it slammed against the adjacent wall, nearly bouncing back at him. Angel stopped it, holding it in place with his palm. “Cordy – ”

His voice caught in his throat, his heart jerking almost violently at the sight before him as the flowers fell forgotten from his hand. Cordelia Chase stood in the centre of her living room, a hand pressed against her chest, her eyes wide in fright. Even with a soul, he still enjoyed fear, and yet it wasn’t her terror that had all the borrowed blood in his body rushing south.

She wore a bra, a deep, lacy purple that matched the panties, two minor obstacles to the glorious sight of skin that stood before him, golden and flawless and silken smooth. She was as wonderful as he’d left her, her legs slim and endless, her stomach flat and taught, her waist curvy and perfect.

Her neck was a blissful, slender curve, her arms a bronze that resembled the sun and he could not swallow, or breathe, or tear his eyes away.

Angel had loved her, missed her, craved her – yet never more than he did at this very moment, at this moment with her before him in nothing but lace upon a copper, satin canvas.

In three steps he was before her, his hands sliding through her hair as his lips crashed into hers, devouring and consuming her and everything she was.

Her body reacted before she could stop it – shifted instantaneously from shock to lust – and Cordelia moaned, the sound travelling upwards from her curling toes and leaving her mouth in a deep, smoky growl. She was primal, made up of all the elements – earth, air, wind and fire – her mouth slamming hard against Angel’s, teeth making a clicking sound as they collided. For a moment, she forgot all her anger, all her bitterness, her body moulding to his hands as clay to a sculptor, flushed with want and humming beneath his fingers.

Responding to its master, to whom it belonged, then, now and always.

Angel’s hands slid down her shoulders and around her, drawing her closer, her nipples brushing the leather of his coat, hardening and causing her to whimper somewhere in her throat. She felt wild, desperate – thirsty and craving water after being starved and deprived for an eternity.

A pressure built inside her, uncomfortable and insistent, and all of a sudden her mind caught up with her raging, treacherous body, shoving him away with the urge to breathe. It all came flooding back – the fight, the angry words, the break-up – Cordelia blinked, shoved at Angel again, watched as he stumbled back, releasing her.

“What the HELL do you think you’re doing, Angel?”

He looked momentarily confused, his fingers coming up to touch his wet lips, as though curious as to why hers were no longer attached. Cordelia felt her body throb hotly, lusting to throw him up against the wall and –

She shook the feeling off, grabbing for the sweater she’d discarded and pulling it over her head. Then she turned back to him, half-dressed, glaring daggers.

“WELL??? What do you think you’re doing?” She stepped closer to him, then thought better of it and stepped back. “We’re not together anymore Angel, you can’t just stomp into my house and kiss me any old time you FEEL like it!”

“Cordelia – ”

His voice was deep, gravelly and it licked at her spine deliciously but she stuck out a hand, furious with him and with herself. “I don’t want to hear it! You’re such an asshole!”

His eyes flashed then – silent but deadly – and she was reminded of that primal feeling – the predator that lay beneath his skin that attracted her like a moth to the flame. “I came to apologize.”

“Yeah, which you have as yet to do!” Cordelia pointed out, poking him in the chest. “All you did was come in and grope me like some Xander Harris wannabe!”

Angel growled and goosebumps broke out across her forearms. That was a button you just didn’t push. The command was low, angry. “Don’t compare me to him.”

Cordy felt her anger surge as though a plate had slid beneath the surface of the ocean, causing a tsunami. Purposefully, she strode over to the door, yanking it open. “Leave. GO. Get out!”

Angel’s resolve was sturdy as he crossed his arms and it only served to piss her off more. “I’m not going anywhere until we sort this out.”

“Oh, yes you are!” Cordelia marched across the room and grabbed his arm, tugging at it. “Even if I have to drag you myself!”

It was futile, she realized, as she tugged and tugged, unable to move him even a little bit. Cordelia huffed, releasing his arm and dropping her hands to her waist. Then with a burst of energy, she lifted her foot, slamming her heel down on his toe.

Angel yelped, doubling over and Cordy made a quick gesture to the air, grabbing the door handle. A gentle breeze ruffled the room and Angel was propelled forward the few steps it took to reach the door, as if shoved from behind.

“Cordelia – ”

“Goodnight!” She said cheerfully, though what she felt was far from it, slamming the door in his face as he spun around. Suddenly exhausted, she leaned against the wood, feeling tears prick behind her eyelids. Her heart felt heavy and her chest hurt.

The shuffle of footsteps outside the door indicated Angel’s departure and Cordelia’s body sagged, her knees bending as she slid down the wall to the floor. If humans disliked humiliation, vampires loathed it, and there was probably only so much Angel was willing to take before he just…stopped.

That hurt more than the fight or the lack of an apology.

Unsteadily, Cordelia got to her feet, pulling the door open. The hallway was empty, dimly lit by the lights strung up on the walls and the moon outside.

He’d left.

Simultaneously disappointed and relieved, she made a move to shut the door, stopping short when something caught her eye. She squinted, then took a step forward, sticking her head out until the object came into view.

Cordelia blinked.

A bouquet of red lilies – her favourite – lay horizontally on the tile, a few of the petals scattered inches away from the pretty wrapping paper. Angel had brought her flowers, she remembered – he’d been holding them when the door had opened and she’d been so shocked to see him there that the image had barely even registered.

Cordy bit her lip, feeling like a bitch. Then he’d kissed her and she’d forgotten completely. She glanced once again at the dropped, disregarded flowers, her eyes narrowing.

Apparently so had he, she thought, her irritation flaring once again. Angel had been so interested in fixing the physical aka ‘getting laid’ side of their relationship – or lack thereof for nearly the last two weeks – that he hadn’t even thought it important enough to apologize.

Swiftly, she bent down and retrieved the flowers, heading into her bathroom and depressing the lever of her trash-can with her foot. She paused, staring into the pit…her emotions erratic and bizarre. A mere second ago, she’d wanted to dump them in viciously and slam down the lid. Now she wasn’t so sure.

She hated him. She loved him. She wanted to forgive him. She wanted him to apologize, the ass.

Cordelia sighed heavily, blowing strands of hair from her face and collapsing onto her bed, the lilies still gripped between her palms.

Gunn laid his broadsword carefully atop the lobby counter, lifting Wesley’s silver sickle-knife. He ran the cloth in his right hand across the surface of the metal, applying pressure at certain points that appeared smudged.

The hotel door slamming had the weapon flying out of his hands and Gunn had to shield his face to avoid losing an eye.

“What the hell?!”

Angel stomped down the front steps like an angry elephant, throwing his keys in the general direction of the couch. Gunn’s eyebrows shot up.

“That bad huh?”

Angel grunted, jerking open the fridge and pulling out a container of blood. Gunn winced.

“What happened?”

“Before or after she threw me out of the house?” Angel asked sarcastically, taking a gulp from the carton. He grimaced, licked his lips, and swallowed another sip.

“Even after the flowers?” Gunn whistled lowly. “That’s harsh man.”

That seemed to give Angel pause. He took a final sip from the container and placed it back into the fridge, coming forward and taking a seat opposite Gunn. “Well, I didn’t exactly get a chance to give her the flowers…”

“Say what?” Gunn’s eyes narrowed. “What do you mean, didn’t get a chance?”

“That was foolish.”

“Foolish is bein’ nice. I’d have gone with moronic with an extra helping of dumbass.”

Angel glowered at Wesley and Gunn. “Oh good. Candour. I don’t have enough of that in my life.”

“Actually, right now, you don’t.” Gunn told him honestly.

Wesley sighed, rubbing a hand over his face as though he were trying to cure the common cold. “Angel, I’m no expert on women – ”

“Amen.”

“But don’t we all know this?” He continued, ignoring Gunn’s snide remark. “They like to be respected. Listened to. They like romantic gestures and soft spoken words.” He made a face. “Groping her while she was that angry was just bad chess.”

For a moment, both Gunn and Angel looked confused.

Gunn shuddered. “Did you just say groping?”

Angel frowned. “Bad chess?”

“A bad move!” Wesley slammed his fist down onto his desk. “You should have given her the flowers, softened her up a bit. Then you should have apologized. THEN, had she let you, there might have been an opportunity for – ”

“Groping.” Gunn interrupted him before he could say it, looking thoroughly disturbed.

“I meant to give her the flowers, I just…” Angel trailed off, dropping into a chair and palming his forehead. “Cordelia can pull a reaction out of me faster than anyone and when I saw her like that – ”

“Hallelujah.” Gunn said again, clapping Angel on the shoulder.

Wesley smirked. “You’re very spiritual this evening.”

Angel looked up, bringing them back to the problem at hand. “What should I do?”

“Exactly what I told you.” Wesley grinned at him. “Save your king for later. Move your knight and take the queen.”

Gunn groaned. “We’re back to chess?”

Cordelia pushed her sunglasses onto her head as she entered the hotel, dropping her blazer onto the coat rack. Her heels clicked against the marble of the empty lobby as she approached her desk. Resting one hand on the felt, she bent her knee to remove her shoe. She’d stepped in gum on the way over – karma perhaps, or another exhibition of the universe’s sense of humour and its colossal failure.

“Cordelia!”

Fred’s voice startled her and she spun around with a hand on her chest, vaguely grateful that she was dressed this time.

“Fred,” She let out a breath, “Hey.”

“So?” Fred’s grin was so wide, it nearly split her face, excitement radiating off her in waves. “How was last night?”

Cordelia raised her eyebrows, confusion buzzing in her head. Then she remembered – of course, Brad, the underwear model – that part of the evening seemed so uneventful now compared to everything that followed.

“It was fine.” Cordy said in a non-committal manner, dropping into her chair. “He was nice.”

“Not HIM!” Fred waved her misconception away as though it were an annoying fly, perching on the edge of her desk. “How did it go with Angel?”

Cordelia frowned. “How did you – ?”

“He found out about Brad yesterday.” Fred confessed, twirling a pen between her fingers. “He was MAD jealous, which I figured he would be, since he still loves you an’ all, hence my accidentally on purpose letting it slip that you were going on a date.”

Cordelia didn’t have the energy to interrupt her, her mind now focussed on what had just been revealed. Head and heart warred with one another again – he had come over to say he was sorry, but only after he’d realized his fear of losing her to someone else.

Fred was asking her a question. “So?”

“So what?”

“Did you kiss and make-up?” Fred’s voice dropped to a whisper. “Was it like the Red Shoe Diaries?”

Cordelia made a face. “Before or after I threw him out of my house?”

“Bef– Oh dear…” Fried frowned deeply, releasing the pen from her grip. “That doesn’t sound very Red Shoe-y.”

“No…” Cordy drawled, turning to face her desk and collecting some of the files that had piled up over the last week. As she stood and lifted them, something rolled noisily across the desk, coming to a halt beside her purse. Cordelia drew her eyebrows together, lifting the small, navy blue box. It felt weighty in her palm, and she glanced at Fred, whose eyes were wide as saucers.

“Are you gonna open it?”

“I guess…” Cordelia turned the box in her fingers, finding the front clasp. “Is it for me?”

Fred shrugged. “Only one way to find out.”

Cordy popped the clasp open, pulling it upwards. The pearl-white satin inside of the box was revealed, draping and curving around the four corners. In the very centre rested a slender silver chain, smooth and barely visible until she held it up to catch the light.

“Oh my god…” Fred whispered, awestruck.

Attached to the end of the silver metal thread was a strikingly carved pendant of an angel, silver and simple and stunning. Cordelia’s breath caught and her legs gave out beneath her, bringing her back down into the cushion of her chair. The pendant was breathtakingly beautiful, and yet it was the inscription she’d discovered as she’d turned it that had made her knees weak and hampered her breathing.

On the back of the pendant was a simple message, carved into the silver. It read,

I don’t want to lose you. Carry me with you.

Always.

Angel

Tears stung her eyes and Cordelia let them fall, overwhelmed and unembarrassed. It had been a long, hard fortnight, not to mention an unnecessary one, since the fight had been over something not even worth the mention. Still, it had waged a wall between them, split them up and left them angry, bitter and heartbroken.

But it didn’t matter anymore. Cordy stared, mesmerised by the pendant. None of it did, none of it but this.

Fred was looking smug, but a good kind of smug, her lips pulling up into a smile. “Okay, we are WAY past the Red Shoe Diaries…”

A chuckle bubbled out of Cordelia’s throat, only to get caught there when a voice sounded behind them.

“Cordy?”

Butterflies fluttered to life in her tummy and Cordelia turned, locking eyes with Angel. Her heart was galloping and she knew he could hear it, didn’t seem to care. She was ready to throw in the towel – admit defeat herself after his incredible gesture so that she could jump into his arms and feel whole and happy again.

“Hey,” She whispered.

“Hey,” His eyes held her captivated, unable to move or breathe or think.

“I should…” Fred mumbled, not bothering to finish the sentence as she disappeared around the corner and out of sight.

Time stood still and neither Angel nor Cordelia spoke, the emotion between them nearly suffocating, clogging their throats and twisting their tongues. Normally, his silence would have irked her but today she didn’t care one bit. She’d already forgiven him.

It didn’t matter that he’d tried to fix it through sex, or that he’d reacted out of jealousy – he was a beautiful, wonderful man who loved her and she loved him unconditionally. She was unaffected by his lack of a verbal apology when everything he’d showed her and done for her spoke a thousand words. Cordy held her white flag at the ready, opened her mouth and –

“I’m sorry.”

Her mouth snapped shut, her eyes widening. Angel had just blurted out an apology – a huge deal for him – and what seemed an impossible utterance a moment ago had been said. He looked adorable, his fingers interlaced, his feet shifting nervously, and she swore her heart swelled, that it could burst in that very moment.

“It took you long enough!” Cordy cried out, ignoring his surprised face and then his shocked one as she leapt into his arms, crushing her mouth to his. Angel made an odd muffled noise, his arms immediately wrapping around her. She kissed him hard, hungrily, more tenderly and yet more desperately than she had on the night he’d barged in on her in her underwear.

His hands slid around her, the one palming her neck bringing her closer, deeper into the kiss. Angel took control, pressed her up against him and devoured, fingertips licking the lust at the base of her spine, lips whispering words of love and reverence against her mouth, her throat –

Cordelia pulled back to breathe, her chest rising heavily, full and set to overflow with love for him. She palmed his face, kissed him once, twice – “I’m sorry too.” When he smiled, she thought maybe she’d be blinded. “Thank you for the necklace.”

She raised it between them and Angel took it from her, electricity charging through her fingers when he brushed them. He reached around her neck and under her hair, bringing the necklace with him, securing the clasp and adjusting it so that it was pressed over her heart.

He kissed her again, a single word murmured against her lips. “Always.”


…THE END…


 

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