She was shaking. And though it made her feel weaker then normal, she felt it was justified as she watched the normally calm empath demon run down to the lobby all the while screaming her father's name. It amazed Rianna how she was actually able to finally refer to the souled vampire as "Dad". It only took her about a year. Shaking that off her mind, she ran quickly after Lorne to find him digging through the drawers of Angel's desk. In the bottom one, he on-covered a stack of photographs. He began furiously flipping through them, showing pictures of their family and older ones of the "Scoobies" as Cordelia so fondly called them.
She saw a picture of Dawn, her aunt, and recognized it as a copy of the one Spike had on the dresser in the room he had adjoined to Faith and Duskie's. She picked it up, staring at the pose the brunette girl was in. She was smiling happily, her hand pushing her windblown hair from her blue eyes. Ria saw slight resemblances between her and the girl, who wasn't too much older in age. Connor was actually older then Dawn. Rianna refocused on the pictures Lorne was flipping through until he came to the last one. It was a picture of a girl about her age, with bright blonde hair styled to her shoulders and a glowing face. Her eyes were green and she looked very familiar. The brunette noticed that as she lay the picture of the blonde next to Dawn's they had the same lips and smile. Both of them looked truly happy in the pictures. Lorne then placed one that showed Dawn and the blonde girl snuggled up on a couch presumadly watching television. In this one Dawn looked younger and the other looked older.
"That's her," Ria whispered, outlining the solidtary picture of the woman she had seen. The ghost who had called her beautiful.
"Why were you screaming for me? I was in the middle of a really good book," Angel's chocolate eyes fell on the pictures strewn on his desk. More particularly on the ones on Buffy and Dawn set in front of his oldest daughter. "What's going on,"
"Who is she, Dad?" The girl demanded, her blazing eyes landing on her father.
"That's you're mother, Rianna," Lorne answered for the vampire-human hybrid who had sunk into one of the chairs, his eyes locked on the photos.
"My mother," She breathed quietly, more softly then she had spoken since she had arrived at the hotel. No wonder she looked so close with Dawn, they were sisters. She began to see traits that she and Melly had in the picture of the two. The way they were holding each other, how casually Dawn had her head rested on her sister's shoulder. And then she began noticing little things. Like how they were wearing the same cross in the singular pictures of the two of them. "Why didn't you show me? Why did you keep her a secret?"
"I haven't see those pictures in years. The ones of Buffy at least. I forgot I had them," Angel replied just as quietly. His eyes turned to Lorne. "Why are they out?"
"When we were done with patrol tonight, everyone walked ahead of me. I just kind of hung back, taking in the fresh air. And I heard a voice. I turned around and there she was,"
"Buffy," Lorne answered for the teenager, aware that the girl had no clue what to call the deceased slayer.
"She was almost transparent, glowing. In a gorgeous gown, with her hair flowing around her. She smiled at me, told me I was beautiful. I asked who she was and she said I'd find out soon."
"Are you positive it was her?" Angel almost wished his daughter said no. It would make things easier, if the woman hadn't been Buffy. His life was finally settled. He had a woman he loved, a family, a part Shanshu. He didn't want to lose that for anything. His feelings for the blonde slayer would always be there, but to bring her back in the mix would seriously complicate his life. He almost wanted to kill himself for thinking like that, but it was true. If it was Buffy, there was no telling what would happen to their family.
"Yeah, Dad. It was her,"
"Saw it myself, Angel. Ria sang for me. That's why I panicked. I recognized her from when I stayed with Dawn. All the pictures and stuff."
"How'd you know I had one?"
"Cordy mentioned it to me once,"
"What do we do?" Ria asked, sighing.
"We'll wait till morning and gather the team. Research and figure things out," Ria nodded, taking that as her cue to go to bed. She kissed them both lightly on the cheek and headed to her room, a solid picture of her mother in her mind. Angel moved to leave before Lorne caught his arm.
"Should we call Dawn? Let her know?" The demon questioned.
"I'll call in the morning," Lorne nodded and allowed the emotionally drained man to return to his bed. He left the pictures on the desk and switched off the light.
Authors note: For some odd and totally unexplainable reason I updated this story. I've been much more focused on my original work lately and I realized just how annoying it is for people to write a story, publish it, then ignore it. I'll try my best to update this soon. Please review and help me with something; Should