Title: Selective Blindness
Day/Theme: 15th September/"Your eyes closed"
Series: Romeo and Juliet
Character/Pairing: Benvolio, Mercutio, Romeo
Rating: PG


"Love is blind, but friendship closes its eyes."

- Anon.


Of the three of them, Benvolio is the coollest-headed, no matter Mercutio's digs about certain times in their lives when Benvolio displayed less than endless patience. He is the one who calms angry fathers when Mercutio has been more discriminating in his choice of mistress and spoilt the bargaining chip of a lucrative business deal and the one who soothes the tears of young, romantic maidens who cannot understand why Romeo no longer serenades them and instead repeats lines of poetry learnt by rote to Beatrice or Silvia or whoever his latest lady is. They tease him about this and forget that he is also the one who helps Mercutio escape from a window when a father enters by the door; that he is also the one who keeps Romeo's cast-off goddesses from interrupting trysts with the new beloved. As with all the truly invaluable, Benvolio is unnoticed until he isn't there and then is reproached for his lack of co-operation.

He doesn't mind, however, because while Mercutio is often dismissive, when Benvolio requires aid, no one could be more solicitous. He had once awoken from a fever to see Mercutio at his bedside cracking dirty jokes about the attendant. It was not until Mercutio had left, presumably for his own house and not a tavern, that Benvolio was told that his friend had nursed him himself, taking on the role that he had parodied so obscenely earlier. For Romeo's part, Benvolio receives verbose compliments and warm kisses that, if he approves, are then reiterated to Romeo's object of affection du jour. So far Benvolio has been the most constant of Romeo's loves; thought if Romeo identifies himself as the sick, waning moon to Benvolio's radiant sun once more, Benvolio may tell Mercutio of it and Romeo's cheeks will never be free of blushes.

Benvolio is no Patroklos himself, of course. Mercutio tells him this whenever he thinks that Benvolio is a little too sensible, a little too self-satisfied with himself. Then he makes a joke about Achilles and Patroklos and their "friendship" and any resentment Benvolio might feel is lost in his laughter. No, he is no Patroklos. He feels sympathy with the great warrior, for neither of them loved fighting more than they loved their friends' lives, but he does not care overmuch for honour and glory. That is Mercutio – for Romeo cares no more for it than is necessary to capture a woman's gaze – and Benvolio fears it will be the death of him as it was of Achilles. In that, too, he and Patroklos are alike.

The three of them form a triumvirate, one that will probably last all their lives in different forms. However their friendship works – and it does work, somehow, and Benvolio wonders if analysing it might not choke their fellowship – it will survive, enraged fathers and weeping maidens and all. The thought is comforting – though not, as Mercutio would add, to said fathers and maidens.