Six months later, both Patrick Evans and Benjamin Daniels were convicted of aggravated sexual assault. Both received the maximum sentence. Life in prison with no possibility of parole.

Three months after the father and son were sentenced, Cordelia's flashbacks stopped completely.

***

"Come with me, Cordy," Angel told her one night a year after her ordeal.

"Where are we going?"

Angel just smiled. "You'll see."

***

Angel pulled up to the beach they'd shared a walk on their incredible first date together. They'd since had many walks on this beach. Secretly, they thought of it as theirs. Cordy smiled and took off her shoes, tossing them in the backseat before she climbed out of the convertible. She slipped her hand in Angel's as they walked along the shoreline. It was as quiet as ever.

"Angel, what's this?" she asked, indicating the picnic basket and blanket a few feet away.

He simply smiled and helped her to sit down, sitting down beside her. "There's something I want to ask you."

"What is it?" she asked.

Angel pushed back a strand of hair behind her ear. "Cordy, the last year has been full of ordeals and heartache, but we got through it, came out stronger for it. When I look back on this year, the thing I remember most of all is not all the heartache, but the love that got us through it. I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you." Angel pulled out a princess-cut diamond solitaire. "Will you marry me?"

A single tear slipped down Cordy's face. "Yes. Yes, I will marry you," she told him before kissing him softly.

Angel thought his heart might burst from happiness and turn him into Angelus once again, free to reign terror on the world at large. That is, he would have worried about that if he hadn't just recently received a very special gift from the Powers That Be. The gift of humanity. It seemed that his helping to put Cordy's rapist behind bars had been his final act as a redeeming vampire. Three days after her rapist was convicted, Cordy woke up to a strange but familiar sound as she lay on Angel's chest. It took a moment for her to realize what it was. When she did, she cried. She woke up Angel to tell him. And then he'd cried. The sound: Angel's heart. Beating.

He opened the basket and drew out two champagne flutes. He pulled out a bottle of Taittinger and poured. He handed her a glass and clinked his glass against hers. "To us," he told her, taking a sip.

"To us," she repeated.

Angel carefully took the glass from her and set them down. He framed her face in his hands, gently caressing the skin there, just looking into those beautiful hazel eyes he loved so much. He lowered his lips to hers in a kiss that was tender. Cordy's hands travelled up his black button-up shirt, releasing each button as she did so. Angel knew what she was doing. "Are you sure?"

Cordy nodded. "I'm sure."

An hour later, lying sated in each other's arms, covered with their picnic blanket, Cordy smiled. "You were right."

Angel looked at her, a look of confusion on his face. "About what?"

"I feel beautiful again," she whispered, looking at the diamond on her finger. "Complete."

For Angel, more perfect words could not be spoken. He knew that, for Cordy, that was the final sign of healing. She was back. Completely.

And she was his.