Written by Kristina
Cordelia first set her sights on dating Angel way back in season one of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." At the Bronze, she would constantly intercept Angel before he could get to Buffy. She even told Buffy that she was the "slayer" when it came to dating. After Cordy learned that Angel was a vampire, and that he was really interested in Buffy, she backed off and pursued other love interests. When she arrived in LA to make it big as a star, but ended up working for Angel instead, many fans hoped that Cordy and Angel would "get together." Their relationship as something more than friends began to blossom over the course of the first two seasons. Cordy pursued other men, but those relationships turned out badly. Angel still had a place for Buffy in his heart, and focused on his mission of "helping the helpless."
But in many tight-knit family situations, chemistry develops between people. Look at Fred and Gunn, for example. But really, consider Cordy and Angel. Working together, they formed a very strong bond during the first season of the show. In "To Shanshu in LA," Angel takes on Wolfram and Hart to get back the scroll vital to curing Cordy of her never-ending vision curse. At the end of the episode, we see the more "motherly" Cordy emerge - she knows what is out there now, and she is going to take care of her friends, including Angel.
When Angel came back to work for Wesley, Gunn and Cordy after firing them midway through season two, he was concerned the most about winning back Cordy's friendship. The beginning of season three saw Cordy trying to console Angel over the death of Buffy. She persistently tried to get Angel to talk about his feelings, and she convinced him that he was doing her no disservice by continuing on with his life.
When Lilah used Cordy to get to Angel in "That Vision-Thing", Angel went to the hell dimension where Lilah's prisoner was being kept, and he freed him. Cordy was worried that by freeing this prisoner (who we later find out is Billy) that people would be endangered. Angel said "It's not about winning, Cordelia, it's about what's at stake. And in this particular scenario you were way more important than winning. - I can't worry about that guy I set free. I did what I had to do. I'll just deal with the consequences when they happen." He was willing to do anything in order to guarantee her safety.
Cordy asked Angel to teach her how to fight, so she could defend herself, and he agreed. In "Offspring", Fred was the first member of Angel Investigations to make note of Angel and Cordy's attraction to each other, through their sparing.
Angel: Oh, whoa, wait a minute. There's nothing going on between me and Cordelia.
Fred: Nothing but Moira.
Angel: Who's Moira?
Fred: Moira is the gut physical attraction between two larger than life souls.
Angel denies there is any attraction between him and Cordy, but the seed has been planted in his head. After the birth of Connor, Angel and Cordy both slip very easily into the role of mother and father, and they both appear to be naturals at it. Especially when, at the end of "Provider" they are both lying on top of Angel's bed, falling asleep with Connor in between them. It is very easy then to picture them "together."
The next instance where we are given an insight into how deeply Angel feels for Cordy was in "Birthday" when a vision knocks her onto the astral plane. He goes to the conduit, to force the Powers That Be into returned Cordy to him. He doesn't want her to die, and yet again, he tries everything in his power to save her. Cordy's feelings for Angel are revealed when she (in her Angel-less life) returns to Angel, and takes the visions back from him with a kiss. She then is demonized so she can keep the visions and stay with Angel. Any girl that is willing to demonize herself so she can stick around a guy is definitely in love, if you ask me!
As with many budding romances, the couple that is in love doesn't realize they are in love, without the help of friends. In "Waiting in the Wings" (a heaven-sent episode for Cordy/Angel 'shippers) when Cordy and Angel go into the basement of the theatre to investigate, they become possessed by the spirits of two lovers. Much kissing is done by the both of them, until they realize what is happening. Of course, anytime they go near the lead ballerina's room, they start to realize how much they want each other. Of course, they think this is just the spirits, but really, they also have feelings for each other. It takes Lorne to explain to Angel how he feels about Cordy. Lorne read Angel when he was singing to Connor, and he knows how Angel feels about her. He also brings up the fact that Angel has a "thing for ex-cheerleaders." This is one of the ways that Angel's relationship with Cordy parallels his relationship with Buffy, but it is more a superficial comparison. The crux of this comparison is actually the way Angel fell in love with them; fighting side by side with them as warriors.
At the end of "Waiting in the Wings", Angel finally goes to Cordy, to explain how he feels. Before he can, though, Groo comes into the lobby, and Cordy immediately runs to him.
It is evident that Angel is jealous of Groo. He is constantly comparing himself to Groo, to see how he measures up. When Groo saves a woman's life in the middle of a sunlit park, Angel begins to think that Groo could replace him. Although Cordy appears to be interested in Groo, when she gives him his "make over," he looks surprisingly like Angel, and not just because he's wearing Angel's clothes. It's obvious Cordy has someone else on her mind. When Cordy asks Angel to get a mystical prophylactic for her, he agrees, even though it causes him obvious discomfort. However, at the end of the episode, he gives Cordy a wad of money, and tells her and Groo to go on vacation. He loves her so much that he is willing to let her go.
When Cordy returns after Connor's kidnapping, she stays with Angel while he mourns. And we begin to see the spark of doubt in Groo's mind about Cordy's love for him, and her love for Angel. In the season finale, Groo finally confronts Cordy, while Lorne talks to Angel. Again, Cordy and Angel don't realize their feelings for each other until someone else tells them about it.
Lorne: The way you feel about Cordelia is pretty much exactly how she feels about you.
Cordy: I love Angel? What are you talking about? I - love... you know... us.
Lorne: You two are so obviously connected.
Groo: You finish each other's...
Lorne: ...sentences. You laugh at the same...
Groo: ...jests. When he grieves, when he is hurting...
Lorne: ...her heart breaks for you.
Finally, Cordy makes the phone call to Angel, and they set up a meeting time to finally discuss their feelings for each other. But as everyone who has seen the finale knows, they don't. Will Angel and Cordy ever see each other again? Unfortunately, I don't know the answer to this, but I sure wish I did.