RATING: R. Mostly for bad language, and a little bit of naughtiness.
SUMMARY: Angel is a famous actor, Buffy's an ordinary High School student, when Angel, his sister and his uncle start being hounded by the press Buffy is dragged into the mess.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: This story was heavily influenced by EdTV and Richard Curtis films.
FEEDBACK: Is always appreciated! .uk
Sometimes in life things happen that change us. Death… birth, the world turns and in the worldview nothing ever changes.
Buffy slammed the newspaper onto the table in anger. The entire quad of Sunnydale high school turned to look at her. She glared right back. "I can't believe people think this is actually news!"
"Buff – calm down. He's a Hollywood actor. Having your name splashed around the papers is kind of part of the job." Xander reasoned, his attempt to lay a hand over his reassuringly was shrugged off violently and Cordy rolled her eyes at his efforts from her position beside him.
"Angel Mac Lachlan has a new film coming out in the fall. This is probably just a publicity stunt, get some interest in the movie drummed up." She told Buffy cynically.
"But this is all personal! It's about his sister's break-up for God's sake!" Her fist was slowly crunching the newspaper into a minute area. "There's nothing to do with him being an actor."
"God, what's your trauma, Buffy?" Cordy recoiled. "He hid his sister from the world for eighteen years, I think the world has a right to know." Buffy near hissed in anger, it was all kinds of irrational but the mere thought of this innocent family life being torn apart, seemed so beyond awful that awful didn't cover it.
"There's nothing you can do." Willow told her quietly, A soft wistful smile on her face. Oz just nodded from his position next to her. Ever the taciturn guy. But they get that she should be allowed to be angry about it, even if they didn't understand why. And she loved them for that, if nothing else.
"It just doesn't seem fair." She slumped back to lean against the tree, and closed her eyes to draw in a deep breath. Count to ten. Calm down. "And I know life isn't fair before anyone says it." She added, and Xander snapped his mouth shut staring puzzled at her closed eyes. As the bell buzzed in the background she felt her eyes snap open again and with one hand shoved the newspaper into the bin, before stalking off to her first class.
Xander gave a long low whistle as he watched her go. "I'd hate to see how she acted if she actually knew this guy."
Willow shifted uncomfortably in Oz's grip and Xander's eyes widened in shock. Leaning forward over the bench he stared at her. "Buffy knows *Angel Mac Lachlan*? What did they do bump pelvises?"
"No!" Willow blurted out. "Not Angel. It's Giles."
"Of course she knows Giles, Giles is the Librarian." Cordy pointed out in a 'duh' voice.
"Yes, I know, but according to that paper Buffy so helpfully destroyed-"
"Off the point Wils." Xander interrupted.
"Well I would get to the point if you would let me talk." Willow replied eyes flashing with unusual anger. Mind you she tended to be passionate about knowing stuff.
"Giles is Angel's Uncle. See Angel's father died when Angel was really little, it didn't really have anything about him. But his mom was Darla Giles, Rupert Giles, our Librarian's brother."
"And wasn't she in a couple of films back in the seventies?" Xander added.
"Yeah. She was in Educating Rita." Oz added.
"Hello point people!" Willow hissed, the group turned their attention back to her. "Okay so Darla then marries this guy named George West, totally against the wishes of her family, and she has a second child, Kaitlyn. Anyway a couple of days after Kaitlyn turns four he leaves they never have contact with him again. A year later Darla dies in a car accident. So Giles takes them in."
"Hang on how old were these people then?" Xander looked at Willow expectantly.
"Uh well, Kaitlyn was five, and there was eight years between them – so Angel must have been thirteen."
"And how old are they now?" Xander pressed.
Willow's brow scrunched in concentration as she did the math. "With the dates in this, He's twenty-six and she's eighteen."
Xander leaned back a satisfied look on his face. "Well that's why Buffy so upset then. Kaitlyn's a senior, same as us. She relates."
"I can't help but think it's more than that." Willow sighed. "All this stuff about Giles. He lied to us." Willow admitted brokenly. Xander's happy expression dropped into displeasure.
Angel slammed the newspaper down on his desk in frustration. Unknowingly mirroring the actions of a certain blonde down the coast. His entire family history was spread across the front page of the LA Sun-Times. Kaitlyn and Giles and his mom… "Shit." He growled jumbling to his feet so fast that his chair shot out behind him. Smashing straight into the glass shelves behind him. The shelves shattered on impact. Feeling the loud crash behind him and the glass smacking into the back of his legs at some force he turned to inspect the damage. Five were totally shattered, the highest had survived. He remembered Kat laughing at his ridiculousness for putting glass shelves behind his chair. A smile flickered over his face at the memory, but thoughts of Kat lead him straight back to thoughts about the situation he was now in.
"Shit." He repeated running a hand through his already mussed hair. He had to think clearly. "What are they gunna do next. Who are they going to go after?" Grabbing a pad of paper and some pen he started a list. Kaitlyn. Her friends. She'd have to make a list of them, her friends changed like the weather. "Who else?" Giles. He jotted down. Obviously. He'd practically been their father… Oh. Dear. God. George West. He scowled deeply. "He'll talk. Probably try and make it sound like none of this was his fault." Stemming off the thought train before his pounding headache got any worse he tried to work out what to do next. Why weren't their lessons in this sort of thing? It would've been more useful than French. Almost laughing at his own stupidity Angel grabbed for the phone, knocking it off the desk into the mess behind.
Uncaring Angel dropped to his knees in the shards and picked up the phone again. Punching in speed dial he cradled the phone between his shoulder and his ear. He started to sweep up the fragments of glass before realising what he was doing and he dropped the shards, watching as they fell through his fingers leaving a tiny lattice of cuts spread across his palm. He almost didn't notice that the ringing has stopped when Giles low voice mumbled "Hello?" somewhat cautiously.
"Giles? Have you seen the papers!" He yelled. "I don't know what to do." He admitted his voice broken with despair.
"Angel calm down." Giles monotone voice soothed down the phone line. "We spoke about this before. When you got custody of Kat."
"Yeah." Angel agreed running his bloody palm across his face in agitation. It was just so hard to remember the things they'd said, the anger made the blood pulse loudly in his ears… and it was so hard to concentrate, to think. "I remember."
"People were going to find out about her eventually. And when they did we were going to find a teacher. They would teach her how to live with the media attention." Giles reminded him gently, the tone the very same he had used to reign in Angel's darker side. Make him back down from the fight. "Is Kaitlyn there?"
"Yes. No. She's asleep." Angel amended. "She hasn't seen the papers yet."
"Do you know how the story was leaked?"
"Kaitlyn, she walked in crying at eleven, because Dwain dumped her. She threw away everything away that reminded her of him." Angel was interrupted by Giles laughing at the other end. Angel found himself fighting not to laugh himself. It had been a pretty fun sight, he sat on her bed watching as she threw half her stuff out the window, she truly was a woman scorned. But then, "Her diaries she threw away her diaries. There must have been a reporter. Got to them before they went into the incinerator."
"Is she okay?" Giles asked, suddenly sober again.
"Break-up." Giles added.
"Oh yeah." Angel laughed again shortly. "She's at the angry stage right now, heading quickly into getting over it."
"Don't wanna know." Angel grunted. "She get all upset last time I beat one of them up. But if I'm going to know about something and then not be able to treat Dwain the way he should be I really don't want to know about. She's okay physically, and mentally, soon enough. That's all I want."
"Good plan." Giles agreed, probably remembering one of the many times he'd had to get Angel out of trouble for fighting. He seemed a little distracted though, and the faint clicking off the Rolodex, suggested he was at his desk. "Hmm, I think I have the perfect new tutor for Kaitlyn. I'll come up this afternoon and join you two at the Hyperion."
"Don't you have work? And who's this tutor?" Angel demanded.
"As for the tutor, I shall have to contact him first. And my job?" Giles sighed lightly. "There was some mention of me in the news, they thought it best that I resign so as to remove any possibility of adverse publicity toward the school."
"They fired you!" Angel yelled. Shooting back to his feet from his position on the floor he knocked the final glass shelf and felt it smash around his shoulder. He ignored it.
"Angel! Need I remind you that this is my life, not yours and you cannot control it. There are other schools." He reprimanded tightly. Angel backed down quickly surveying the added damage to his shelves. He might as well threw the whole lot out now. He was eternal grateful that Giles was coming up this afternoon. He was amazing with Kaitlyn, and himself as well if he came to admit. Neither he nor his sister had ever got to know their real father's. His through ill-fortune. Kaitlyn's because he was an arrogant prick. But Giles had done an amazing job bringing them up. He would never forget him for that.
"Thanks Uncle Giles."
"Just you know. Being there." Angel clarified somewhat sheepishly.
Giles sighed deeply at the other end of the line. "I know it's wrong, Angel. But sometimes I'm entirely grateful that that pillock George West left Darla. Because if he hadn't I might never have got to know my niece and nephew."
"Sometimes I think that too."
When Buffy skipped down the steps of Sunnydale High School she was met by a thousand flashing camera bulbs. "What the-" her murmur was cut short by a hand gripping her arm tightly and pushing her back into the school building. Pulling away from the tight grip on her elbow she leaned up to see exactly who was trying to prevent her leaving the school. A sharp black suit lead up to the bespectacled face of "Giles!" She pulled away sharply and took in the fact that his dusty tweed suit was no where in sight. In fact he looked like the very picture of an un-librarian. "What the hell is going on?" She glared at him, hands on her hips and back straightened to make the most of her five foot three (with heels) height. Giles glanced pointedly around at the odd looks they were getting. Most of the students in the halls were openly staring at them.
"I'll explain in the car." He replied tersely. Before attempting to lead her away again. Buffy stood her ground.
"No." She snapped. "You will tell me, what the *fuck* is going on right now." She demanded, barely able to bite out the words from the rage that had been bottled inside her that day. "I'm not going anywhere."
"Don't swear Buffy." He scolded calmly. "We will discuss in the car with your mother."
"My mother?" Buffy echoed. "And what exactly does my mother have to do with this?" She pales slightly. "You didn't tell her about Principal Snyder did you?"
"No." Giles was peering out at the main doors, following his gaze Buffy saw that the reporters had now edged their way onto the school grounds and closer toward them. Giles dropped the volume of his voice. "The press has discovered my closeness towards your mother and yourself. It is best that we leave Sunnydale for a while."
"What I'm just supposed to head for the Hills?" She retorted fire dancing through her veins. Her anger at the press increased ten-fold how could they be forcing this decision on her a person who had never even *met* Angel Mac Lachlan, they were dragging her into this mess. Giles just stalked away without a word. "Wait 'closeness'? What *exactly* did you mean by 'closeness'?"
The minute she jogged to catch up with Giles, it was over. She made her decision and she wanted to know. So she took the red pill. And there was no way the world would ever be the same again.