But ... if we're not seeing what's "right in front of us" then maybe there's a reason for that?I didn't thought it was awful that Lorne as well as Fred have made Cordelia and Angel aware of their feelings. Do not we all have such crazy but kind friends who want to open our eyes - because we do not see what's right in front of us?
Because of Angel's curse, Angelus becomes kind of a marker in the relationship about how truly happy he is. Whilst it could be argued that Angel would be aware of what breaks the curse and so the worry over that would prevent him from having a moment of perfect happiness, he can't be on his guard all the time. All it would take is for him to slip up for one moment then Angelus is back.
I'd just add that Angel is still in exactly the same situation he was in with Buffy. He knows it, Cordelia knows it and yet it's more or less ignored for some reason.
Not only was it not really dealt with up until here when they do get around to it they end up making Wesley look like a plank: "Bang who you like Angel it'll probably be alright, what's the worst that could happen?"It's kind of crazy, when you think about it, that it took them FIVE seasons to have a conversation where Wesley tells Angel it is unlikely he'll achieve perfect happiness again.
I do not think it was rushed and forced - for me it was the most natural relationship in the whole fandom. It took them years to get there. I mean they started as strangers, went over to be friends and falling in love
And by the way Cordelia would HAVE NEVER been the "The runner up or be the second best to Buffy! "