Author's note: RJ"s speech is from Shakespeare's "Tempest." it's Ferdinand's speech upon meeting Miranda in Act III. All I did was break it down into lines the way I wanted RJ to read it.

Part 7

"So, are you gonna call him back?" Declan asked eagerly. It was the second time they'd had this conversation.



"I told you, I don't know."

"Come on, Miranda! Do you want to see him again or not?" urged Declan.

"I really think I want to discuss this you," she told him, but the faintest hint of a smile was already creeping onto her face.

"Well, why not?"

"Because you're... impractical."

"Impractic--what? What's that supposed to--?"

Their debate was interrupted by a knock at the office door. "Come in," Declan called out. The door swung open, with RJ standing behind it. When he saw Miranda, his face lit into nervous smile.

"Miranda, hi! I didn't think you'd be here," he said.

"Class got cancelled," she told him, feeling suddenly awkward for having just been discussing him with Declan. "I was just... studying... for your dad's class." Which wasn't really a lie. She *had* been studying for Waldau's class before Declan decided to interrupt her.

Declan coughed pointedly, and she threw him a withering look--which, thankfully, RJ seemed to have missed. He was too busy taking in the scatter-brained decorating scheme of Declan's office.

"Is there something I can do for you, RJ?" Declan asked the young man at last.

RJ whirled around at the question, a goofy, distracted look on his face. "Yeah, um, actually, there is. I wanted to talk to about anthropology. I thinking of taking it up."

"Taking it up?" Declan looked confused.

"Switch majors, you mean?" Miranda supplied.

"Yeah!" RJ beamed at her. "I thought maybe Declan could recommend some classes for next semester."

Miranda and Declan exchanged surprised looks. "Ummm, okay," said Declan with a shrug. "Have a seat."


"But you do like him, then?" Peggy asked gently.

When Miranda had come back from Waldau's class, RJ had still been in Declan's office. The two of them were very engrossed... not in an anthropological discussion, but an in-depth debate of the Indiana Jones trilogy and rumors of a proposed fourth movie. She hadn't seen much reason disturb them, so instead she went to go see what Peggy was up to.

And they'd wound up discussing RJ, too.

"Yes, I do. He's... different... fun to be with... smart. I've... " she fell silent for a moment, thinking. "I've had more fun with RJ this past two weeks than I've had practically my entire life."

"Hmmm... " Peggy hummed thoughtfully. "Not to sound like Declan, but why don't you call him and see where it leads?"


It led to open mike night at The Coffee Cup.

When Miranda finally called RJ back, he said he'd all ready committed to read. The establishment was promoting the classics by having a "Shake Up Shakespeare" night. 'Which mean,' he'd told her on the phone, 'we take anything Shakespeare wrote and read it anyway we like. With music, even, if that's what we want.' She promised to meet him there.

Miranda had to admit, it did sound like fun. She half wished she'd known about it sooner. She might prepared a monologue of her own.

RJ was dressed as your typical beatnik--all black, hair loosed from it's tie and hanging shamelessly around his face. By the time Miranda arrived--late thanks to Friday night traffic--he was all ready on stage, seated in a lotus position on the floor, the microphone lowered as far as it could reach.

She just barely found a seat before he began to speak:

Indeed... the top of admiration
Worth... what's dearest in the world
Full many a lady I have eyes... with best regard
And many a time... the harmony of their tongues hath into bondage... brought my too diligent ear
For several virtues have I lik'd several women
Never any... with so full a soul
But some defect in her did quarrel with the noblest graced she owed and put it to the foil
But you!
O, you!
So perfect
And so peerless
Are created of every creatures best.

Miranda was speechless. It was Ferdinand's speech from the "Tempest." Ferdinand's first declaration of... devotion...


She was so shocked, she didn't see RJ until he was pulling up a chair and sitting down beside her. "You came after all," he said above the buzz of the crowded coffee shop. The next speaker was taking the stage. When he launched into a rap rendition of Hamlet's famous 'to be or not be" speech, they both groaned.

"Come on," RJ said, taking her hand. "Let's go out side and talk."

(continued in Part 8)