Disclaimer in earlier parts
----
Chapter 6
3 years later
Buffy closes Dawn's door walking downstairs to the livingroom where
she finds her friends waiting. "She's asleep"
"How is she doing?" Giles asks
"She barely talks" Buffy sighs "she's really upset"
"What now?" Xander asks
"Have you gotten a hold of your father?" Cordelia asks
"No not yet" Buffy replies sitting down.
"Where are your mother's papers and such?"
"Upstairs" Buffy answers "I'll go through them later"
"Would you like us to stay?" Willow asks
"We could make it a slumber party" Xander suggests
"Thanks guys I really appreciate it but I think we'll be OK." she smiles weakly
"Call if you need anything" Giles orders softly
"I will" Buffy walks her friends to the door hugging each of them.
"Thanks you guys" she waves at them then closes the door locking
it. Slowly she makes her way upstairs. She looks towards her mother's
bedroom door as if drawn she enters the room sitting on the bed
"Mommy" she says tears falling.
After a few moments Buffy swallows wiping away her tears she kneels
beside the bed reaching under she pulls out a lockbox. Opening the
nightstand drawer she finds the key for the box. Buffy swallows
nervously as she unlocks the box lifting the lid to find a envelope
with her name sitting on the top. Picking it up she notices one
with Angel's name and another with Dawn's. She frowns then shrugs
"Must be a reason there's one for Angel." She opens the envelope with her name reading
'Dearest Buffy,
I am writing this letter just in case my surgery doesn't go as
planned. You know me overthinking'
Buffy smiles
'I love you and Dawn so much. You two are my girls. Your the two
most important people in my life. You are probably wondering why
there is a letter for Angel... its a long story. I want you to promise
that you will give it to him it is very important. I put some money
for a plane ticket in the box in the top of my closet.
Use that money to go see him and give him the letter. I know you
are wondering a lot of things some of the answers are in the manila
envelope labeled Dawn legal papers. Please do not talk to Dawn about
this yet not until you finish the letter. Now open the envelope.'
Buffy sets the letter aside taking out the manila envelope from
the box. Carefully she opens it taking out a bundle of papers. She
sees Dawn's birth certificate on the top. She sets it aside then
finds another birth certificate with the same date.
"Why two?" she shakes her head "Must be her original birth certificate"
she mutters scanning through it her eyes widen
'Name: Dawn Sullivan'
At the name listed for Dawn Buffy feels her stomach clench. She
scans down to father's name. "Father Liam Angelus Sullivan. Age 13."
At the name Buffy covers her mouth with her hand "Angel" she blinks
back tears. She sets Dawn's birth certificate aside picking up her
mother's letter hoping to find the truth.
'Buffy go see Angel this is his thing to explain.'
Buffy finds at the two addresses and phone numbers written on the
bottom of the page. Gathering the papers she shoves them back into
the envelope then into the lockbox. She picks up her mother's phone
book from the nightstand drawer finding the number for the airport.
She picks up the phone dialing. "Hi I'd like the first flight to New York"

Next Evening
Buffy swallows nervously as she lifts her hand to the door knocking. A moment later the door opens
Angel starts "Buffy" he breathes
"Angel"
After a moment of staring at Buffy Angel steps aside "Come on in"
Buffy enters the apartment "Sorry for not calling."
"Its fine" Angel shoves his hands in his pockets "How are you?"
Buffy blinks back tears "Angel..." she pauses "Mom... she's dead."
Angel inhales sharply "What happened?"
"She had an anuerysm a couple days ago." Buffy sets her backpack
down taking out the lockbox. "I went through her things last night"
she opens the box handing Angel a letter "I found this..." she takes
a deep breath "along with Dawn's birth certificates and her adoption papers."
Angel swallows hard "Buffy..."
"Why didn't you tell me Angel?!" she demands
Angel gestures to the couch. Once they sit he takes a deep breath
"Buffy... I was scared. I didn't want to interfere with Dawn's life...
or yours." he explains "I came to Sunnydale because I just wanted to see her once."
"She's my sister Angel you should have told me the truth."
"I couldn't"
"Why?"
Angel leans forward looking at his clasped hands "Buffy I didn't
even know Dawn existed until I was 18 and my parents finally allowed
me back into the States. When I found out I decided that it was
for the best if I stayed away. I didn't want to ruin anyones life"
"Why did you come to Sunnydale?"
"Because not knowing anything about my daughter was slowly destroying
me. Buffy I knew nothing about her. I didn't know her name... her
birthday... where she was born. I never saw her until I was in your
Mom's office and I saw the picture of you and Dawn."
"Mom knew then?"
Angel nods "I told her."
"What about me Angel?!" Buffy demands jumping up "Did you use me to get closer to Dawn?"
"God no" he stands
Buffy stares at him "Then why Angel? Why didn't you tell me?" she asks hurt in her voice.
"Do you know what its like Buffy to find out your parents deceived
you?! My parents... my parents decided for me that I wasn't fit
to even know I had a child. They didn't ask me to sign the papers.
They wouldn't have told me if I hadn't found Darla's letter in my Dad's desk."
"Darla"
"Darla is Dawn's biological mother"
"Angel" Buffy begins
Angel shakes his head "For years I hated my father for doing what
he did. I despised him. But I needed him... he was the only one
who knew anything about my daughter." he pauses rubbing his neck.
"I went to Sunnydale to see if Joyce would tell me about her. When
I saw how close you and Dawn were I knew I couldn't destroy that."
"You wouldn't have Angel. Dawn is my sister regardless."
"I know." he rubs the back of his neck "When we met... I felt something
I hadn't felt in a long time... an attraction that wasn't just physical.
The moment I saw you Buffy I fell in love with you." he takes her
face between his hands kissing Buffy gently "I love you" he says softly
Seeing the tears in his brown eyes Buffy smiles faintly "I love
you" she winds her arms around his neck kissing him deeply.

Later
"Wow" Buffy says rubbing her cheek against Angel's chest
Angel chuckles "Definately" he kisses the top of her head "I missed you Buff"
"I missed you too" Buffy says pressing her lips to his chest.
Angel glances at the clock "When are you going back to Sunnydale?"
"Flight leaves at 4." she says sleepily
"Get some sleep. We'll talk in the morning"
"The papers" Buffy slurs
"We'll go through them in the morning" he assures "Just sleep"

Morning
Buffy opens her eyes turning her head she finds Angel propped up
on his arm watching her. "Hi" she smiles sleepily
"Morning. How are you feeling?"
"I actually slept" Buffy says amazed
"Haven't been sleeping?" Angel says concerned
Buffy shakes her head "Not since Mom got sick"
Angel looks away "I'm sorry I didn't come out. I wanted too but
Joyce thought it best that I didn't considering..."
"Riley you mean" Buffy finishes
"Yeah"
Buffy winces at the thought of her ex "He uh left a few weeks after
we found out Mom was sick. He couldn't stand not being the center of attention."
"Sorry"
Buffy shrugs "Don't be. Riley he didn't get along with the others... especially Dawn."
"I know. Dawn told me he basically ignored her"
Buffy nods "Riley didn't get along with Dawn, Xander or Cordelia.
Oz and Giles remained neutral but Willow liked him. Cordelia thought
Riley was a loser. Dawn thought he was an ass. Xander... well Xander
never approved of any of the guys I dated." she smiles faintly "Though he did like you"
Angel chuckles "Glad to know."

Little later
"I see your cooking skills are about the same" Buffy teases putting
her arms around Angel's waist as he cooks
"Like yours have changed any" he retorts
"Of course not" Buffy laughs kissing his cheek she pulls away
"How's school going?"
"I took the quarter off when Mom got sick." Buffy replies sitting
at the counter she opens the manila envelope of legal papers
"And what about this next quarter? Have you registered?"
"No. I uh still have too many things to take care of." Buffy swallows
"Figure out what I'm supposed to do about the gallery... everything."
"What about your Dad?" Angel asks turning off the burner he grabs
a plate putting some scrambled eggs on it he sets it before Buffy.
Buffy looks at the plate "Thanks" she picks up her fork. "I've
been trying to get ahold of him but he's off somewhere."
Angel sits across from Buffy "Have you spoken to him at all?"
"Not since Mom got the operation. Once I told him what the doctor
said he basically told me that he didn't need to come back... said
it wasn't life threatening." she blinks back tears
"I'm sorry Buff"
"His secretary didn't even know that Mom was sick. She didn't even know who I am when I called."
Angel winces at the sadness in her voice
"Oh well. Enough with my issues with Dad. Let's see what else is
in here" she wipes off her hands opening the envelope. "OK we have
Dawn's birth certificate... original and revised. Her adoption papers"
she sets the papers in a pile. "My birth certificate and diploma."
she carefully sets piles up for each of her family "Mom's birth
certificate, diplomas, marriage license and divorce papers." she
scans through one of the documents "Custody papers" she sets them
down. "The deeds to the house and the gallery."
"Custody papers?"
Buffy hands the papers to Angel
Angel reads through the front page frowning
"What?" Buffy asks seeing the look on his face
"Buffy it says here that your father gave your Mom full custody
of both of you as long as he had visitation rights and didn't have
to pay full amount of child support for Dawn."
"What?!"
Angel nods "Says here he has to pay half of what he pays for you
for Dawn. And that includes your savings accounts and college funds.
Also says that if your Mom ever tried to challenge it he would fight for full custody of you."
Buffy looks at Angel stricken "He doesn't see Dawn as his daughter."
Angel shakes his head his heart hurting at the thought of the man
who raised his child not loving her because of blood.
Buffy takes a deep breath "We can't tell Dawn... ever."
"Agreed"
"I always knew that Hank didn't see Dawn as his daughter" Buffy
admits. "It didn't become apparent until we moved to Sunnydale."
she takes a deep breath "My first birthday in Sunnydale he sent
me a card and some cash. When Dawn's birthday came around I overheard
Mom on the phone with him. She was mad because Hank didn't send
Dawn a card... or even call her on her birthday." she looks at Angel
"I realized that Mom was buying Dawn birthday cards and presents
for her birthday and Christmas signing Hank's name. But I knew that
Hank was actually having his secretary buy me gifts." she takes
a breath "After I figured it out I hated him for it."
"Hank's an ass." Angel says "Its his loss for doing that."
Buffy gives Angel a sad smile then shakes her head "If Dawn ever
found out Hank... she'd be devastated"
"We'll make sure she doesn't find out"
Buffy nods
Angel glances at the clock "I'll call the airport and see if there's
still room on your flight to Sunnydale"
"What about work?"
"Don't worry about it Buffy. I'll call my Dad and tell him I'm taking a break."
"Angel"
"Buffy you and Dawn are more important to me then work. Besides
I haven't had time off in three years."
"Are you sure?"
Angel nods "You need help getting things situated" he stands going to the phone.
Buffy watches him 'God he's beautiful' her eyes roam over his smooth,
muscular and tanned body. 'Down girl. Got things to do' she turns
back to the papers before her. She notices another legal document
titled 'Last Will and Testament.'
"Dad I'm taking off for a while. I'm not sure how long. If you
need me I'm taking my laptop and cell. Yes Dad." he sighs "I'll
call Mom later. Bye" he hangs up about to dial the airport
Buffy reads through her mother's will her eyes widening "Angel"
Angel looks at Buffy seeing the surprise on her face "What's wrong?"
Buffy stares at him stunned "Angel... Mom left custody of Dawn... to us."
"WHAT?!"
Buffy nods handing him the paper
"'Custody of the minor Dawn Rebecca Summers will be given to Elizabeth
Ann Summers and Liam Angelus Sullivan. If Mr Sullivan does not want
custody then full custody of the minor will be given to her sister
Elizabeth Ann Summers.'" Angel looks at Buffy stunned
"Do you want custody of Dawn?"
Angel grins "Of course I do" he grabs Buffy in a big bear hug kissing her.
Buffy laughs at his enthusiasm hugging him back

That night: Summers home
"I'm back" Buffy calls entering the house
"Buffy" Dawn runs into the foyer hugging her sister
"Hey Dawnie" Buffy hugs her sister tight looking at Willow curiously
"Nightmares" Willow mouthes
Buffy nods "Missed you too Dawn" she kisses the top of her sister's head
"Where were you?" Dawn demands looking at her sister
"I had something I needed to do" Buffy answers "But there's someone who wants to see you"
"Who?"
"On the porch" Buffy prods her sister towards the door.
Dawn steps out onto the porch grinning when she sees who it is
"Angel" she runs over her arms going around him.
Angel hugs her in return "Hey Dawnie"
Buffy watches the scene with a smile 'He's so happy.'
Angel looks at Buffy "Thank you" he mouthes over Dawn's head.
Buffy nods walking inside to give Angel sometime with Dawn. She
looks at Willow "So any cookies?"
"Sure are." Willow nods
Buffy follows Willow into the kitchen "So what happened?"
"Dawn slept but she kept having nightmares."
Buffy sighs grabbing a bag of cookies out of the cabinet "Thanks for staying with her"
"It wasn't a problem" Willow shrugs. She glances at the kitchen door "You went to New York"
"I needed to talk to Angel"
"About what?"
Buffy looks at Willow "Mom left custody of Dawn to me and Angel."
"Why? I understand you but Angel"
Buffy sits down "Willow you can't tell Dawn this... Angel and I
will tell her when the times right"
"I promise... lips zipped" Willow panimimes
"I told you Dawn's adopted right?"
Willow nods
"The other night I went through Mom's papers and I found Dawn's
original birth certificate and her adoption papers." Buffy pauses
"Willow... Angel is Dawn's biological father."
Willow stares at her friend "WHAT?!" she yelps
Outside Dawn and Angel sit on the porch steps "You OK Dawn?"
"I miss Mom"
"I know you do" Angel reaches over smoothing her hair back. "It'll be OK Dawn"
"I'm glad your here Angel"
"Me too" Angel smiles
"WHAT?!"
Hearing the loud yelp Dawn looks towards the door.
"Come on lets get inside." Angel suggests standing he picks up his bags following Dawn inside

Later that night
Buffy walks into the livingroom where she finds Angel looking at
the picture of her, Dawn and Joyce. "That was one of Mom's favorite
pictures." she says joining him "Graduation." she shakes her head
"Mom was more excited then me."
"She was proud of you." Angel says setting the picture on the mantle
"I miss her"
"I know" Angel hugs her "Come on lets get you up to bed." he leads
Buffy out of the livingroom and up the stairs.

Chapter 7
Next Afternoon
Buffy looks at Dawn and Angel as they sit at the diningroom table
working on Dawn's homework. "How's it going?" she asks setting glasses of lemonade before them
"Dawn will be caught up when she goes back to school"
"Well then its good your here" Buffy kisses his cheek
"Yeah if it was only Buffy for help I'd fail for sure"
"Hey" Buffy protests
Angel smiles putting his arm around Buffy's waist watching as the two sisters argue 'My girls'
Buffy runs her fingers through Angel's hair as the doorbell rings
"I'll get it" Dawn says jumping up she runs out of the room
"What are you thinking?" Buffy asks Angel
Angel grins "That I'm here with my two favorite girls."
"Favorite girls huh" Buffy leans down kissing him
"Mmm" Angel nods
"Buffy its for you" Dawn calls
"Just a sec" Buffy replies pulling away from Angel she walks out
of the diningroom stopping in her tracks when she sees the man with
Dawn. "Dawn go back to your homework"
Dawn glares at Riley then walks past her sister into the diningroom
"What are you doing here Riley?" Buffy demands crossing her arms over her chest.
"Buffy" Riley Finn nods "I just heard what happened. Are you and Dawn OK?" he asks concerned
"Now you care" Buffy snorts
Riley winces at Buffy's cold tone "Buffy it was an accident... I'm sorry."
"Oh yes it was an accident that you ended up in bed with Walsh." Buffy hisses
Riley shrugs "It was"
"Oh please Riley." Buffy snorts "Give me more credit then that.
I found in bed with Walsh. That wasn't an accident"
Riley looks at the floor "Things between us were offbalance...
I went to talk to Walsh and it just happened."
"Oh yes in your own bedroom." Buffy says angrily "My Mom was sick
Riley. She needed me more than you did. But I guess you getting
attention and sex was more important then being there when I needed you."
"Come on Buffy"
"You are so dead"
Buffy turns glaring at her sister "Dawn go upstairs"
"But it was just getting good" Dawn whines
"Dawn" Angel says sternly joining the girl in the doorway "Go upstairs"
he orders giving her a nudge. He looks at Buffy "Want me to stay?"
"Hey not fair" Dawn whines
"DAWN" Buffy and Angel say together
"Oh fine. Leave the teen out of the fun" Dawn stomps up the stairs
"Who is this?" Riley demands
"This is Angel"
Angel glares at the shorter man
"Your exboyfriend" Riley says
"Current" Buffy corrects "Why are you here Riley?"
"I just wanted to see how you and Dawn were doing" he says lamely
Buffy's eyes narrow "No you didn't. You thought now that Mom was dead you could get me back."
"No" he says quickly
"Get out Riley"
"Buffy I..."
Buffy turns hugging Angel tight
"Get out" Angel hisses hugging Buffy
With a final glance at Buffy Riley turns storming out of the house.
"You OK baby?" Angel asks stroking Buffy's back
Buffy nods clinging to him
"How about we go into the livingroom and talk about it" Angel suggests
" 'kay"
Angel leads Buffy into the livingroom sitting on the LazyBoy he
pulls her onto his lap. "When you want to talk I'm here"
"I know" Buffy nods. After a few moments she begins to talk. "After
you left Sunnydale I was a wreck." Buffy sits up looking at him
"Willow and Cordelia tried setting me up a few months later but
I just couldn't get comfortable. The first day at Sunnydale U I
met Riley. I dropped a book on his head" she chuckles "Cordy said
she wished it was an anvil." she shakes her head "Anyway it turned
out Riley was my psych TA. He was sweet and persistant"
"Did you love him?" Angel asks hesistantly
"God no." Buffy says "Willow hoped I'd fall for him eventually
but I couldn't. We had fun together. He started taking up a lot
of my time and when I couldn't spend time with him he'd get annoyed.
He hated not having all the attention.
When Mom first got sick he was supportive and understanding...
or so I thought. One night I went to his apartment to pick up one
of my books I left there" she looks at the fireplace "Found him
in bed with my psych professor."
Angel winces "Sorry"
Buffy shrugs "Don't be. It gave a solid reason to dump him without
feeling guilty." she shakes her head "Riley's the past. He's out of my life forever."
"I'm still sorry he hurt you" Angel says
"I'm over it. I dealt." she snuggles back into his arms "Besides I got you now."
"I love you Buffy"
"I love you too Angel"

TBC