After being saved from systematic abuse by someone or something
, the rescue-ee tries to show the rescuer her gratitude in the most obvious way possible
... and finds herself immediately rejected.
This is what happens when anyone decides that the love being proffered is, in fact, merely a desperate method of thanking the rescuer; generally, they turn the offer down because the one who offered was, quite potentially, psychologically unstable and might need therapy before considering normal relationships. Or perhaps they just do that sort of thing all the time and don't expect a reward. This of course leave the hero with the dilemma of what to do with the rejected lover, as they usually don't take no for an answer, and quite often insist on following them until they have proven that, yes, they actually do love their rescuer.
- In Angel, when the protagonist saves the Girl of the Week who has been abused/molested/etc., she tries to "pay him back" the way everybody always wants her to but he rejects it.
Will go under Index to the Rescue
, Abuse Tropes
, and probably Unrequited Love Tropes
. Needs More Examples. Needs a Better Title.