A Mother's Love

Disclaimer: I don't own anything. Joss owns it all. I'd be nicer to them if I owned them, well probably not really but at least I'd put them together.

A/N: This takes place immediately after Earshot (season3 btvs) as in that night. It's Joyce's point of view.

I peek through the crack in the door. Buffy is sound asleep. Angel is lying beside her propped up on one elbow watching her sleep. I start to walk in, to tell him it's time to go home. It's past time. It's nearly midnight. Somehow I can't. It's the look in his eyes. I wonder briefly, did Hank ever lie for hours, like this man has been doing, and just watch me sleep? Did Hank ever look at me like that? Did anyone ever look at me like that? God I hope so. It's one of those looks, the kinds you see in movies and when you're sixteen you just hope and pray that someday someone looks at you like that. Who am I kidding? I'm forty three years old. I still hope and pray some day someone looks at me like that.

He loves her. I know that. You'd have to be blind to not see it. I am a lot of things. I have even been blind over the years. I am not looking at my daughter and the man who loves her with blinders anymore. He adores her, he worships her and I don't doubt it when I over hear him tell her he will love her forever. You only have to see the look he's giving her right now to know it's true. I'm glad she knows that kind of love. Her life is hard, much harder then it should be. She deserves that. She deserves to have someone love her with an all consuming passion, just like this man does.

But, you know there had to be a but. He's too old for her. I guess technically he's too old for anyone human. It's rather tragic if you think about. He will live forever and everyone he knows or loves will die. He will spend forever alone. That's not my concern. My daughter is my only concern. She's young and beautiful and she has her whole life ahead of her. I don't want it weighed down with two hundred and fifty years of baggage. Not that Buffy actually discusses Angel's past with me, but I've forty three and I've accumulated baggage. He has to have a lot. Even if he were not a vampire I'd object. He's at least 10 years older then her, vampirism aside. She's a child, he's a man.

And there's the vampire issue. He will never grow old. She will, at least I hope she will. Do you know how hard it is to look in the mirror every morning and see yourself aging? I can only imagine the pain of loving someone who didn't. She would end up hating him for being young and beautiful while she ages as we all do. He can't give her children. Buffy explained that to me when I pushed the birth control issue. He can't even make love to her without turning evil. I'm not sure why or how that happens. Buffy was rather vague on the explanations. Even though it's not something I want to hear about, she deserves that kind of relationship. He can't take her out in the sunlight. He can't give her anything resembling a normal life. She tells me she'll never have a normal life. She's the slayer. I don't even pretend to know what that means really. One of these days she won't be the slayer. I mean there's Faith and I know that's not going so well but there will be other slayers. She will have a normal life one of these days. He can't be a part of that.

Angel looks up. I'm surprised he notices me. Usually when they are together they are both so in their own world that the rest of the world just fades away. I smile slightly at him and turn to walk back to my own room. Buffy needs him now. I'll let them have their moment together. I know there's going to come a time when they won't have that anymore. It always helps to have the memories to hold onto. She'll be fine. She's young. Her heart is strong and resilient. She won't hurt for the rest of her life, no matter how much she thinks she will. I have to make sure she has every chance at a normal, happy life. I'm her mother. One day she'll understand.