Title: Lit Lesson
Pairing: Spike & Dawn -friendship
Summary: Dawn goes to Spike for help with an English assignment.
Word Count: 984
Requested by girlmacbeth
1. Spike/Dawn with Spike acting like a big brother
2. Helping Dawn with an assigment, possibly lit
3. At his crypt
Dawn tapped her pencil against her thigh as she sat waiting on the stone sarcophagus. Spike wasn’t home, and she needed his help desperately. She couldn’t believe he wasn’t here, like a normal vampire. Normal vampires would not go venturing out during the day. They would be sleeping, or whatever it was that normal vampires do during the day, inside – not risking getting dusty. Buffy would kill her if she knew she was here, but Dawn didn’t care. It wasn’t like she could ask Buffy to help her. That was a world of no.
Dawn just didn’t understand this assignment that was due tomorrow. The teacher claimed it was written in English, but really, it read like a foreign language to her. So here she sat, 4:30 in the afternoon waiting for the one vampire stupid enough not to be indoors at this time.
Dawn yelped in surprise as the door leading to the lower level of the crypt slammed back and open. From below, Spike’s voice hollered out, “You better have a good reason to be here, Bit. Slayer would stake me good, if she knew you were here.”
“How did you know it was me?” Dawn asked meekly. She watched as Spike’s head popped out from the square in the floor.
His eyebrow arched with incredulity, Spike answered, “Smelled ya, didn’t I? Remember evil vampire. Got to know the enemy’s scent and her family’s too.”
“Yeah right. Like Buffy’s your enemy.” Dawn giggled at Spike’s shocked expression. “Well, at least I’m not…right, Spike?” She started using her patented almost weepy expression that worked on everyone but her mom.
Spike didn’t answer that, just raked a hand through his hair and took in what Dawn had brought with her. “What’s all this then?”
“My English teacher says it’s written in English, but come on, no one can understand this. I mean just listen to this…’I, that am rudely stamped, and want love’s majesty / To strut before a wanton ambling nymph.’”
“Ah, Richard the III. ‘I am determined to prove a villain.’ Brilliant play. You have a problem reading the Bard then?”
Openmouthed with awe, Dawn finally was able to close her mouth. “You know the play? I mean I thought what with you being English and old…” She looked sheepishly at Spike. “Sorry.”
“S’alright. Perhaps unlike ol’ Richard there I’m ‘in the giving vein today.’”
“Umm. Whatever. Look, can you help me understand this enough to do an oral report tomorrow?”
“Sure, Bit. Let me fix myself a cuppa, and we’ll discuss why Richard the III was just a poor misunderstood guy who just wanted to be loved and have power.”
“Yay!” Dawn ran up and hugged Spike. Realizing she was hugging Spike, she quickly unwrapped herself from him and went to open her book.
“So Queen Margaret wasn’t really in England. Shakespeare just used her as a character to foretell what was going to happen if these people let Richard do what he wanted and then do an ‘I told you so’ speech,” Dawn asked.
“Right. See Queen Margaret never left France after she was ransomed in 1475, and the end of Richard the III’s reign was 1485. Remember…who was the ruler of England during Shakespeare’s time?”
“And what do rulers then and now love to hear the most, Bit?”
“How they are so great and how that they are the rightful ruler?”
“Very good.” Spike patted Dawn on the head.
“So…let me get this straight. Richard the III was the last of the Yorkist kings. His death ended the War of the Roses. His defeat by Henry Tudor was Shakespeare’s way of showing Queen Elizabeth that her family is the rightful rulers.”
“Excellent. Now, don’t you think that Shakespeare was being subversive at the same time? And if so, how so?”
“Well, Richard was overthrown by a rebellion. If enough people thought Elizabeth wasn’t a good ruler, they may look at what Henry Tudor did and say we could do the same thing too.”
“Right. See, ol’ William could kiss the Queen’s arse and still plant a knife in her back at the same time. Gotta love that.”
“Umm, Spike, could you tell me about this again? And do the voice?” Dawn pointed to a certain passage.
Spike cleared his throat and started reading in his poncey William voice. ‘Alack, I love myself. Wherefore? For any good
That I myself have done unto myself?
O, no! Alas, I rather hate myself
For hateful deeds committed by myself!
I am a villain. Yet I lie, I am not.
Fool, of thyself speak well. Fool, do not flatter.
My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
And every tongue brings in a several tale,
And every tale condemns me for a villain.
Perjury, perjury, in the highest degree,
Murder, stern murder, in the direst degree,
All several sins, all used in each degree,
Throng to the bar, crying all, ‘Guilty! Guilty!’
I shall despair. There is no creature loves me,
And if I die no soul will pity me.’
Spike stopped reading as tears had formed in his eyes.
Dawn patted his shoulder. “That’s not you, Spike. I will not only pity you if you dust, I’ll be sure to collect you up and keep you safe.”
Surprised and touched, Spike kissed Dawn’s forehead. “Thank you, Nibblet. Not sure how your mum and big sis will take me sitting on your mantle.”
“Who says I’d put you there?” Dawn teased.
Ruffling her bangs, Spike just grinned. “I think you know it well, Bit. If your teacher gives you any problems, let me know.”
“Why? So you can flash her some fang? Oh, wait, could you do that before my oral report?”
“Let me see you home. Not nice to worry your mum.”
“I'll make her make you some cocoa.”
“Only if I can have the little marshmallows.”