The Real Reason
By Gibberish

Title: The Real Reason
Author: Gibberish
Disclaimer: <Sigh> Not mine.
Rating:  PG  - Yeah, that ought to do.
Summary: Pt 1: Why Angel really showed at the Prom. Pt. 2: Giles vents (so do I) and Joyce ...
Spoilers:  Uh, The Prom. Passion.
Distribution: Solo, Jessica, Sai. Anyone else, just ask.
Timeline: Speaks for itself
Feedback: Oh, would you?

      Angel never saw it coming. The knock on the had surprised him. Afraid that it was Buffy, he wasn't sure he could face her. When he saw that it wasn't Buffy, but Giles, it worried him. He threw open the door, and went flying backwards when the fist connected with his jaw.

     Angel looked up from the floor, a hand to his jaw. "What was that for?" He asked. He could think of any number of reasons, including torture.

     "Buffy." Giles said angrily. "How dare you do this to her?"

     Angel stood slowly. "I thought you would be the first to jump for joy at my leaving."

     "I agree that your leaving is for the best." Giles told him. "But to do this now. Before the Prom."

     Angel looked surprised. "Not you too. It's just a dance."

     "Not to Buffy." Giles pointed out coldly. "I don't claim to understand the significance either, but I do know how important it is ... Was to Buffy. Not to mention the fact that with the Mayor's ascension looming on the horizon, she could very well be dead. We all could. So, why now?"

     Angel had the grace to look ashamed. "Joyce came to see me."

     "What?" Giles asked blankly.

     "Joyce came to see me yesterday." Angel repeated. "Buffy deserves so much more than I can give her. She'll never find it with me here."

     "I accept that." Giles said. "I even agree with it. But, to do it now. You had to know how much she was looking forward to this. To the Prom."

     "I had to do it while I could." Angel told him quietly.

     "*You*?" Giles queried. "*You* will give this to her or I will return and a sore jaw will be the least of your concerns." With that, Giles turned and left the mansion as Angel had a flashback to a flaming baseball bat.


     Joyce opened the door, surprised to find Giles there. "Buffy isn't here." She told him.

     "I know." Giles returned.

     Joyce was a bit taken aback by his icy tone. "Is something wrong? Is Buffy ...?"

     "Didn't the last time you meddled in your daughter's life teach you anything?" Giles asked coldly.

     "What are you ...?" Joyce asked bewildered and, possibly, just a tiny
bit afraid.

     "I am referring to Angel." Giles responded. "You had no right to tell him to go."

     To say that Joyce was shocked by his defense of the vampire was an understatement. "I have every right, I'm her Mother. I would think that you would understand."

     "What I understand is that Buffy is heartbroken. Again. Due to you." Giles told her in quiet anger. A quiet voice that held back so obviously. "Because of you, the Prom is something for the others to enjoy. Yesterday, she was glowing a the thought. Today, she will simply be there."

     "She'll get over it." Joyce pointed out timidly.

     "Will she?" Giles asked directly. "Will she really? Even if she does, she shouldn't have to. She's lost so much of these years already. This one she has lost because of you. Will she get over that, Mrs. Summers?"

     Joyce stood stunned.

     "For her sake, I hope she never learns of your part in this." Giles said softly. "Angel leaving is for the best, I think, I'll give you that. However, it was not your decision to make."

     "You have no right to come here like this..." Joyce began painfully.

     "No. No right at all, I suppose." Giles agreed. "I guess we're even then. Buffy loves you so much, but your interference will push her away one day. I speak from experience. Buffy needs unconditional love and support. If you are not capable of it, leave her be." With one last serious look, Giles turned and left.

     Joyce watched him go, a speculative look on her face. She wondered if her daughter knew.