Pairing: C/A, OC
Summary: Angel and Cordelia in a hospital room. Fluffy and angsty.
Note: damnskippytoo is the bedrock on which my writing sits. All credit is hers. All errors are mine.
Disclaimer: Not mine. Greenwalt's and Co. Incidental credit goes to Whedon and ME because legally...I have to.
He opened his eyes when they wheeled her into the room, and lifted his head from his arms.
He stood, going over to her as they positioned the bed against the wall of the hospital room. Hovering, because he couldn’t do anything else.
Cordelia’s hair was snarled in a tangled mess across her pillow and her mouth was half open, puffs of air drying her lips as she breathed. Her eyelids floated open and closed as the orderlies secured her bed and set up the call button and her IVs, but her awareness was still gone, a hostage to the drugs they gave her.
“Is she okay?” he asked quietly, eyes searching her face.
“She’s fine,” the nurse behind him whispered. Angel turned and looked at the short blonde woman, noting her name tag.
“Thank you - Irene. How long before she comes out of it?” He put a hand on the railing, turning back to loom over Cordelia. He reached down and adjusted her blankets.
“Shouldn’t be too long,” Irene whispered as she walked to the other side of the bed and began to fuss over the tubes and monitors. “She was snoring in the recovery room.”
Angel’s slight smile as he gazed down at the other woman made the nurse pause briefly.
“She’s a fighter,” she remarked.
Cordelia moved, trying to swallow.
“Cordy?” Angel whispered, leaning over the railing. “Hey.”
“Thirsty,” she whispered, eyelids fluttering.
Angel looked up at the nurse.
“She wants water,” he told her. Irene leaned over Cordy on the other side, and smiled as she checked her eyes.
“You can have a couple ice chips, okay, Cordelia?” she said. “The anesthesia hasn’t quite worn off and we don’t want you to be sick.” She patted her arm before straightening up. “I’ll be right back.”
Irene left the room and Angel smiled down at his girl.
“You did it, Cordy,” he whispered, his voice laced with awe. “You really did it.”
He watched as Cordelia tried to focus on him, but her eyes eventually drifted close, her lashes brushing her cheeks.
He smiled again, a hitch at the corner of his mouth, and enveloped her hand in both of his.
“I love you, Cordelia Chase,” he whispered. He shifted his gaze over to the corner of the room, where moonlight streamed in through an uncovered window, illuminating the hospital-issued bassinet underneath.
He straightened and walked quietly over, standing over Cordelia’s baby.
Cordelia’s and his.
Two miracles in one lifetime, even a lifetime as long as his, was almost too good to be believed.
But his daughter was as healthy as her half-brother, and completely human.
Given that her mother was half demon and her father a vampire, it seemed impossible, but the doctors Wesley found through David Nabbit assured him, and he while he waited for the woman he loved to be brought to her room, he counted ten little fingers and ten little toes.
And no tail.
Cordelia had made him promise over and over again over the last few months, to check for a tail as soon as he could.
“No tail, baby,” he whispered, knowing she probably couldn’t hear him. His phone warbled and he reached into his coat, pulling it out.
He hoped it was Connor. The vision had interrupted Cordelia’s labor and she had cursed a blue streak at the Powers’ incredibly poor timing, but then sobered when she’d been shown Connor being thrown down an elevator shaft.
“Yeah, Wesley,” he said, bracing himself slightly. He nodded as he listened. “She’s fine, sleeping it all off as we speak. Did you track down the Hruta?” He listened as Wesley debriefed him, wincing slightly. “Is he okay?” He sighed in relief at Wesley’s affirmative. “That’s good, tell him to be careful, and to take it easy. When can you…? Of course, she’s going to want to see for herself that everyone’s okay.” He watched his new daughter as he listened. “Okay, see you soon – oh, and Wesley? Don’t let Connor drive my car.”
He put the phone away and reached into the crib, picking up the delicate balance of muscle and sinew, mind and heart, feeling overwhelmed as he cradled her against his chest.
She was smaller than her brother when he was born, just six pounds, four ounces, but her weight was reassuring and the warmth he sensed through the hospital blanket seemed to radiate through his arms and into his chest, glowing brightly.
But the happiness he felt was instantly tempered by the stabbing fear of old memories.
What if it happened again, his worst nightmare?
He stared at her little face, already noticing that she favored Cordelia in looks.
Although the frown was all him.
He smiled a little bit at that, and then thought again about holding Connor just like this, for the brief time he had with his infant son. Before it all fell apart.
He felt weak suddenly, afraid, like he wanted to take the baby and sink down into some dark corner where no one would ever take her from him.
Cordelia’s voice snapped his head around and he searched her out on the bed, half afraid that someone would be there with a knife at her throat, ready to steal another piece of him.
“It won’t happen again,” she told him, her eyes barely open. “There’s no prophecy, remember?”
“I-I know,” he whispered, walking over to the bed with their baby. “We researched it with every book we could find, we spoke with mages and other seers. They all agree.” He looked down at his daughter, kissing her forehead. “There’s no special destiny for her, she just happened.”
“Like we did,” Cordelia agreed, inching her fingers over the bedcovers.
He sat down in the chair next to her bed, reaching out with one hand to brush her questing fingers.
When they talked, when they touched, he felt like everything would be okay. But even with Cordelia safe in the room with him and the miracle sleeping soundly in his arms, there was always that voice in his ear, telling him he didn’t deserve any of it, it was all a mistake.
That the universe would find a way to take it all away.
“But we didn’t know that Wesley would be duped like he was. What if…“ He blinked hard, staring at the wall on the other side of her bed, remembering again the horror as Holtz ran through the portal with Angel’s baby in his arms.
Connor had been crying as the hunter bore him off to hell.
“Angel.” Cordelia woke up a little more, her eyes widening as much as she was able. “Don’t ‘what if’ things; you’ll make yourself crazy…well, crazier.” He focused on her again, tremulous with both fear and love. “We’ll take her back to the hotel and we’ll raise her with Connor and the others, and things will happen and we’ll protect her if we have to, until she can protect herself.” She blinked at him tiredly, knowing he already knew, but it made them both feel better if she said it just one more time. “Life’s gonna happen, champ. Don’t let ‘what ifs’ and worst-case scenarios keep you from being a part of it, alright?”
He looked at her for a long time, and resolved, probably for the first time since she told him she was pregnant, to let go of the fear. It wouldn’t happen overnight, but Cordelia was right. He couldn’t let anything come between him and this baby. Not even himself.
“Okay,” he whispered and smiled slightly.
She nodded and smiled back at him, that thousand watt grin that shone brightly even though she was exhausted and on the verge of sleeping again.
He let her go, watching as her eyes drifted shut, cradling their daughter in the dim light of the hospital room.
“We’ll be here when you wake up,” he told the sleeping Cordelia, leaning back in his chair and listening to the sound of his girls breathing.
(but not really)