Study Date

AUTHOR: Ragna (Obsessive-Compulsive Spike)
DISTRIBUTION: Sure, just keep my name on it and let me know.
DISCLAIMER: If you don't recognize it, chances are it's my own creation. If you do, Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Kazui Sandollar, FOX and the WB own it or them. I'm just holding Spike, Xander and Oz hostage. You may see them by appointment only. Hamlet was written by William Shakespeare, so The Bard owns the quote.
SPOILERS: None, unless I miraculously get hired to write for the show.
FEEDBACK: Sorry I'm not home right now I'm walking in the spiderwebs so leave a message and I'll call you other words, I want it.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Someone wanted a fic with the quote from Hamlet. The challenge was off the Lovesbitch list.



Cordelia sat around the club, depressed. Her college homework from UCLA sat in front of her, appearing to her like it was another language entirely.

"The devil hath power to assume a pleasing shape," she muttered, rereading the passage. Getting frustrated, she shut the book and stood up, heading towards the bar.

Her mind was lost in thoughts. Angel had so willingly paid for the courses, and she was going to fail. He had done it because he wanted her to succeed, and she was determined to show him she could. And now, she was failing.

"If I don't master Shakespeare in three weeks..." she muttered turning around and bumping right into someone.

"Cripes, love. Watch where the bloody hell you're going." Cordelia looked up and saw...

"Spike? What the hell are you doing here in Los Angeles?"

The blond vampire shrugged. "Trying to win Dru back. Again."

"It didn't work the last four times you tried. Why don't you give it up already?"

"I love her. I think."

Cordelia arched an eyebrow. "You think?"

"Well, I'm getting rather annoyed with her. She can't make up her insane mind. It's like she's the bloody devil incarnate."

Cordelia looked right at him. "Would the phrase 'The devil hath power to assume a pleasing shape' fit the situation?"

Spike thought about it. "Yes, I believe the Bard might have known what he was talking about in Hamlet. So it fits."

"Good. That helps a little." She sighed and walked back to her table. Spike followed right behind her, pushing past the crowd.

"Damn!" she said, looking at the table. "Someone stole my books!"

"What were you studying?" he asked as she turned, a glare on her face.

"Shakespeare. Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, Henry the VIII, A Midsummer's Night Dream and Two Gentleman of Verona in particular." The glare softened and she began to cry. "And my final's tomorrow morning!"

Spike immediately reached over towards her. It was instinct after all his years with Dru. "If I help you study, love, would that help?"

She nodded weakly. "But I need the books."

He turned her around after getting the last of her things. "Love, we'll go to the library, get the books, then find a quiet place to study, since it's partly my fault your books got stolen." As they walked out of the club, he stopped. "But don't tell a bloody soul I'm doing this."



Quite a few hours later, Cordelia lay on her stomach on the bed, listening to Crestfallen by The Smashing Pumpkins. "So Macbeth was haunted by the ghost of Banquo at the dining scene, and Lady Macbeth was haunted by the floating dagger?" She bit into her apple and looked at Spike.

"No, love. You've got Macbeth right, but Lady Macbeth thought she had blood on her hands. That's where 'Out damn spot! Out I say!' comes in."

"Ah. I wondered why she said that. Thank you, my undead study buddy," Cordelia muttered, rolling her shoulders back.

"We've been doing this since eight PM, love. It's one AM. When's your exam?" Spike asked, moving his duster off the bed where he'd tossed it and sitting down in it's place.

"Six PM. They have weird schedules here." She yawned a little. "I wish I could survive without sleep...and don't take that as an invitation to turn me, Spike."

He laughed, a deep laugh that sent shivers down her spine. "Wouldn't dream of it, love. You're a better human than you'd ever be as a vampire." He reached over and massaged her shoulders slowly. "Relax, love. I promise I won't bite."

She chuckled a little, and did as he said. They sat there quietly for a few moments, just relaxing, being comfortable. "You're good at this," she said quietly.

"I've had over a hundred years experience."

"I wouldn't doubt it." She wasn't prepared for the shock of his lips kissing her neck, and she tensed, as well as tried to sit up, knocking him off the bed and onto the floor. "Oh my God. I'm sorry! You just...surprised me," she said, helping him up.

"Why are you sorry? I shouldn't have done it. I'm here to get Dru back, not..." he let the sentence trail off, looking at Cordelia, who's face was an inch or so away from his.

"Not what?" she asked quietly, still holding his hand.

"Not doing this," he said before kissing her softly on the lips. She responded in kind, and after a few moments, pulled back breathless.

"Stay here...until..." she asked, holding him closer to her.

"You've changed," he whispered quietly.

"So have you. Will you stay?" she asked again.

"Till the light through yonder window breaks...tomorrow," he said with a grin, kissing her again.