Title: Nothing Left to Lose
Word Count: 528
Spoilers: Seasons 4 & 5
Summary: Angel had nothing left to lose.
Disclaimer: If you recognize them, they belong to Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt. Otherwise, they're mine.
Author's Note: Written for whedonland.
There was a time when Angel didn't have anything left to believe in. Cordy, the woman he'd loved so completely had died six months before, never having woken from the coma that had resulted when evil forces had taken over her body, slept with the child she thought of as her own son and then, when she became pregnant, gave birth to itself, leaving the woman who carried it in a vegetative state. Fred had died just a few months earlier, her body overtaken by a god of another time. Wes had just been killed by the very evil he'd been trying to stop and Gunn was only minutes away from meeting the same fate.
When he'd gone into that final battle, he'd had nothing left to lose except his own life. He'd wanted nothing more than a stake through the heart. And then, in the midst of all the death, as he lay on a slab of concrete, hoping death was near, he'd heard a voice he'd recognize anywhere. "Angel, it's me." And thought he was dreaming. So she'd pinched him. Hard. "Ow. What was that for?"
"To show you that you're not dreaming," she'd told him, amusement filling her hazel eyes. Then she'd kissed him. And it had been with so much tenderness that it would have taken his breath away if he'd been human. But that hadn't come until after they'd won the battle. He'd finally gotten his reward, his shanshu. But the real reward had been Cordy. All those months without her had been hell. He'd known then what he knew now: he couldn't live without her. So he'd proposed a week later.
"What are you thinking about?" she asked as she slipped her arms around him. Her hands came to rest on his chest, where his heart lay, beating.
She rested her chin on his shoulder gently. "You were so lost," she told him, already knowing what memory he'd been thinking about.
He lifted her hand from his chest and brought it to his lips, kissing it tenderly. He smiled at the claddagh wedding ring that adorned her left hand and glanced down at the matching one on his own hand. "I was. I didn't know how to live without you. I'd tried, but I just couldn't do it. It hurt too much," he whispered, turning to face her then.
"And now you won't have to," she told him softly. "I'm back and I'm never leaving you again."
He smiled and lowered his lips to hers in a gentle kiss. "I love you, Cordy."
"I love you, too, Angel."
With those words, Angel lay her back on their bed and pressed his lips to hers. This kiss was as full of passion and desire as the first one had been gentle. He slowly kissed his way down her body, releasing each tiny button of her deep pink blouse as he did so. Pushing the garment aside, his fingers found the clasp of her silky black bra and dropped it onto the floor.
Angel proceeded to show the woman he loved how much he adored her as the world outside faded away.