SUMMARY: Joyce POV post-Becoming. It's easy to hate him.

DISCLAIMER: Joss owns all, including three lines of this story. One is from "Angel", one is from "Passion", and one is from "Becoming, Part II".

FEEDBACK: My first posted fic, so con crit would be greatly appreciated.

She hates him before she meets him.

No, they tell her, you have met him. Twice that we know of.

She remembers (even thoughshe doesn't want to) polite stuttered excuses at a tutoring session, although it was a little late for studying. She remembers the manic look in his eyes and Ihaven'tbeenabletosleepsincethenightwemadelove.

He touched her little girl? Her girl with the blonde baby-soft hair and innocent green eyes, the chaste silver cross at her throat.

Mom, I'm a Vampire Slayer.

She doesn't want to remember.

Joyce, they tell her, Mrs. Summers, Buffy's mom, it's not your fault. They explain sacred duty and tears and blood in bubble-gum pink tank tops.

No one talks about how Mr. Giles' hands still shake so badly that he tore a page right out of a book she doesn't need to be told is rarer than anything in her gallery. No one says anything about the way that Willow still can't walk anywhere, but has to have that young man with the strange hair stay with her to push a wheelchair.

It is very easy to hate him.