Romeo/Mercutio. That means romantic relations between Romeo and Mercutio. If that's not your thing, you should probably stay away. No disclaimer necessary, I don't think. Since Shakespeare is in the public domain, I think I own this! Anyway, I wrote this because I never really bought that Romeo was REALLY in love with Juliet. It was just a fling, they were too young. If they had lived, they would have been at each other's throats in a month. But who was he ALWAYS close to? Mercutio! Who is, apparently, single!

Romeo had been in a foul temper that day, ever since he had learned that the lady he had claimed to love, Caterina, had been pledged to another man. He had spent most of the day near the sycamore grove at the edge of town, and Benvolio had urged Mercutio to leave him in peace. There came a time, however, when it was simply too much to tolerate. Romeo had spoken to the girl once.

It was late evening when Mercutio set off to find his friend; the sky was streaked with pink and orange, and leaves that fell from the high bows of the trees looked rather like fairies to his imagination. The air smelled of pollen and wet earth and sea air; Mercutio felt as if he could become intoxicated simply by breathing it in. He walked with a spring in his step, humming softly.

When he came upon his friend, Romeo was lying flat on his back in the roots of the sycamores, his eyes partially closed. His hand was rubbing the back of his head, and his feet were perched on the thick trunk of the tree. Mercutio chuckled softly, and held his breath as he made his silent way towards his friend.

"What evil tempers cloud thy mind, dear friend?" Romeo started upon hearing a voice, tilting his head back to see Mercutio. He sighed and rubbed his temples, pretending not to notice when Mercutio flopped down beside him.

"Naught concerning you, who know not of love," Romeo answered promptly. He turned his back to his friend.

Mercutio tapped Romeo's shoulder in a vain effort to gain his attention. "True, love hath not yet got a hold on me," he agreed. "And yet I find myself concerned with clouds; when they floatést about Romeo's head."

Romeo sighed heavily. "The fairest lady in the land has gone," he mourned. "Wed she has been—and to a Capulet!"

"I feel sure that thou wilt love yet again," Mercutio teased, sitting up and peering directly into Romeo's face.

"I have no love but for Caterina," Romeo said despondently. "If she is not to be mine, I am done."

"I would put better faith in thy promise," Mercutio countered, "If but thy love were constant as thy word."

"My love would be constant, as thou well know, if those I loved would but love me in return."

"Poor Romeo, so terribly alone," Mercutio mocked, patting Romeo's hand. "For he has not a friend left on this earth. The ladies are quite smart to stay away; for thee forgets them too soon after love."

Romeo laughed slightly and grasped his friend's hand as it rested on his own. "Yet I am not entirely alone," he said softly, "For thou art still with me, Mercutio."

Mercutio smiled and fell down beside his friend, turning his own eyes skyward. The sun had finally slipped beneath the earth, and stars pricked the sky. Not so bright as Romeo's eyes, but bright enough to illuminate his face. "I am, and shall always be, my dear friend," he promised, for once entirely solemn. Romeo grinned happily at him.

Mercutio decided he had had enough of seriousness. He leapt to his feet, tugging a laughing Romeo up with him, and held their hands between them. Romeo's hands were cold, probably from his long day outside, but they were soft against Mercutio's. They fit better than did any maiden's.

His eyes glittered brightly in the darkness as he pronounced, "Since we know no maid will ever wed thee," he said gaily. "You shall then be wed to Mercutio. The moon, she shall make us pronounce our vows; the stars and trees our solemn witnesses." He dropped easily into the spirit of the game, and allowed himself to drop Romeo's hand, gesturing wildly about the woods as he spoke. Romeo laughed lightly, but Mercutio thought he saw a pink blush upon his cheek.

"Then tonight, if thou willst, we shall be wed," Romeo said, gamely playing along. "And thou, I suppose, will be the young bride."

Mercutio clutched his hand to his chest as though mortally wounded. "Ay, me!" he exclaimed. "And thou would yet make a woman of me? Romeo, Romeo, thou prickést me."

"And yet it appears I have not a sword," Romeo jested, "So rise, fair maiden, to become my bride."

"Thou needést not a sword with which to prick," Mercutio corrected. "For I think thou hast sharper weapons yet. But I have given my word: we shall wed."

Romeo took Mercutio's hands in his own and held them close to his chest. "And so, wilt thou love me and honor me?" he asked.

Mercutio laughed and pulled his hands from Romeo's to stroke the side of his face. "I shall, and I would ask for thee the same," he said, "Yet I know too well the quickness of thy love."

Romeo's moods had changed again; he was entirely solemn as he gazed into Mercutio's eyes. He pressed the other man's hand to his lips. "We have long been friends, and thou think this still?" he asked. "Well, I shall show thee a different way," he continued, and added wryly, "I think I shall prove a faithful husband."

Mercutio shivered slightly, and Romeo touched the side of his arm. "Ay, perhaps thou shall, at least for a time," he agreed. "But soon a fine new lass will catch thine eye."

Romeo looked hurt. "Perhaps I am unloyal—thou art my friend! And shall never be far from my mind's eye—whatever foolish scrape I get into."

Mercutio twined his fingers with Romeo's, and pressed them close to his chest. "If thou lovést me so," Mercutio said teasingly, "Then we must kiss."

Romeo laughed nervously, and touched the side of Mercutio's face with a trembling hand. He wrapped his arm around Mercutio's waist, and felt his friend's hand on the back of his neck. Mercutio stood perfectly still in his friend's arms, but his eyes shone brightly in his face.

"Yes, it does seem that we are bound to do so," Romeo said quietly. Mercutio could feel his breath on his lips. Romeo leaned forward slightly and stopped, rubbing his thumb across Mercutio's cheekbone.

Mercutio, however, would not wait. He gave a soft, impatient huff, and leaned forward to capture his friend's with his own.

Romeo blinked in surprise; but his eyes quickly closed to match his friend's. He pulled Mercutio tighter to his body, and felt Mercutio's hands clutch tighter at his hair.

Mercutio made a soft, contented noise into Romeo's lips. Yes, Mercutio definitely thought he could get used to this.

The kiss deepened, suddenly, and Mercutio felt Romeo's tongue inside his mouth. It was nice, and he pushed back with his own tongue. Romeo's hands were digging into his waist, but they were warm, now, and Mercutio was thoroughly enjoying the sensation.

But just as suddenly, it was over, and they were standing, breathless, staring at each other. The moon illuminated Romeo's face, and Mercutio saw that it was flushed and red. "Are we then bound and wed this night, dear friend?" Mercutio asked softly.

Romeo smiled and kissed him again, gently this time, pressing Mercutio's lips to his own. "It appears that we are, forevermore," Romeo said.

"I must tell thee, Romeo: I love thee," Mercutio confessed quietly.

Romeo took his friend's hands. "And I thee, as well, good Mercutio," he agreed, kissing Mercutio's face—his cheeks, his eyes, his forehead, his nose. "I think—that thou—have right—at least—this time," he continued, speaking between kisses. "Which ever lass I claim to love, I am—Forevermore, thy love, thy Romeo."

"And I am thine, thy good Mercutio," Mercutio said softly. "I am thine."

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