TItle: His Reasons
Author: littleotter73
Character/Pairing: Giles, mention of B/G
Setting: This is a missing scene for Tough Love in Season 5, where Buffy asks Giles to help her with Dawn. Giles refused and it confused me as to why he would do so, considering that if Dawn were taken away by Social Services because of her truancy and over all destructive behavior, then they wouldn't be able to protect the key from Glory. So... Giles' answer didn't make any sense to me. I fixed it. What the heck is fan fiction for, if not to fix things?
Beta: Catchoo. Thanks a million! And hey, it's under 1000 words! How about that? LOL
Disclaimer: BtVS is not mine, I'm just playing in Joss' sandbox for a bit.

Giles watched Buffy leave the Magic Box with Dawn in tow after raging against her sister and the gang about the younger girl's homework. He felt the eyes of his remaining companions fall on him for answers and he shrugged his shoulders before retreating to the training room.

Pulling out a bottle of scotch hidden in the recesses of the weapons cabinet, he poured himself a generous finger of the amber liquid and took a sip, allowing the familiar warmth to coat his throat and warm his belly as he tossed his glasses on the end of the green pleather couch and sat down on the other end, dropping his head into his hands.

He knew he should've told his Slayer that he would help out with raising Dawn. Buffy knew even less about being a mother than he did about being a father - after all, he'd mentored his young friends since they were sixteen - but he understood that parenting was easier to do if they did it together. The younger Summers clearly needed a firm hand in her life and Buffy was having identity issues trying to reconcile who and what she was, her quest in the desert not shedding much light on her questions. She couldn't be expected to do it all and he could at least lighten the load by helping her out.

Picking up his glass from where he had set it on the floor, he took another swig. Dawn was the key. They had to protect her from Glory. They couldn't bloody well do that if she were taken away from them and put into foster care because Buffy couldn't control her. Giles pinched the bridge of his nose. Dawn had already proven to be impulsive and self destructive with both her sister and mother around. What made him think that Buffy could handle the girl all on her own?

After gulping down a huge amount of the scotch, he took the glass and threw it at the wall where it shattered into a million pieces. Giles looked upon the wet shards of glass with disdain. Well, that certainly hadn't eased his frustration.

The Watcher sighed heavily and went to the closet, pulling out the dustpan and broom. As he cleaned up the mess, he thought back on the last several months since Joyce died. He and Buffy had become so close. They were rarely apart, complementing each other in true partnership. In the evenings he cooked meals for the two girls as though they were a family, and he watched Dawn while Buffy patrolled. Most nights he would stay late after Dawn had gone to bed and the two of them would talk on the couch or watch TV, mere inches parting them. When the rest of the gang would join them for dinner, Buffy would either sit next to him at the head of the table or she would sit opposite from him at the other end. It was all very intimate and the boundaries were becoming blurred as they settled into the roles of patriarch and matriarch of their little group.

In the end, this was his dilemma, and he knew it was a selfish one. He couldn't help with Dawn because he just wasn't strong enough to be only what Buffy needed him to be. He'd want more and that would never happen. Couldnever happen. She was his Slayer.

Tossing the debris into the nearest bin he remembered how he had nearly lost himself when she came to him and told him that she loved him. He'd almost forgotten to breathe. When the rational part of his brain had started working again, he'd realized that she was telling him not only so that he would know, but also because she was having difficulty with the feeling. When he'd realized that her problem was reconciling her sense of self and that of her Calling, he offered to help her through it by taking her on the quest. But her declaration had been enough to induce panic. He'd come so close to confessing his love for her before he'd realized the intent behind her declaration.

So when she had come to him asking him to take on a more formal role in Dawn's life and help her guide the girl, he flat out refused to help, adding to the increasing amount of stress his Slayer was already under.

He couldn't play father to Dawn while Buffy took on the role of mother; it was too close to what he really wanted, only he wouldn't have her love - not in the sense he desired. If they were to be a family, then it would be a proper one, but that wasn't what Buffy wanted.

So he told her no, she'd have to be strong and deal with Dawn herself. She could do it, he'd told her, practically shoving her out the training room doors into the cold, hard reality of single parenting. He felt ashamed of himself. He could see the disappointment and anger warring with her sense of responsibility and they finally took control when she unleashed her frustration on the rest of their group in the shop. He felt most sorry for Dawn, who would take the brunt of Buffy's wrath.

He knew he was being selfish.

Tomorrow was another day. He would continue their routine and guide Dawn the way he had been doing since their mother had fallen ill. He wouldn't take on an active role that would suggest to Buffy that it was more than what he had been doing, but he would pay more attention to the teen and help steer his Slayer along a more gentle tack with regard to dealing with her sister.

But right now, he needed the distance.