This is my first fanfiction, so I'm a little anxious. This will definetely get better as it goes on. Please read and review!
I do not own Romeo and Juliet.
"Romeo," he muttered softly. "Why did thou not tell me?" His only reply was the soft wind, which faintly blew the brown curls off of his forehead. "I could have helped, cousin. Thou could have trusted me."
His cousin was silent, silent like the grave, for he was dead, buried. It had been a week since the death of his cousin and his aunt, and he supposed his cousin-in-law Juliet. A week and a day for his other new relative by marriage, Tybalt, and for his other best friend Mercutio. He had visited all of their final resting places, saving this one for last. He still could not figure out his feelings for Romeo. Bitter, maybe? A twisted feeling of the brotherly love they had once shared? They had always been like brothers, the closest of friends, and Mercutio made a threesome.
"And we weren't supposed to lie," he finally muttered. "The last secret you ever kept from me. Where there any more? How much did thou perjure thyself? Ay, Romeo? Have you no answer?"
A hand tapped his shoulder, and he whipped around. A very timid servant was gazing up at him. Balthasar, who had passed on to him after his former master's death. Benvolio wasn't sure whether he liked having Romeo's man, but he hadn't rejected him yet. "Sir," spoke Balthasar hesitantly, "Your uncle wanted you home by nine of the clock, sir, and it is dark and thou have been here for hours. Could we not return home for the night?"
Benvolio took a deep breath, swallowing down a surge of anger and a wildly beating heart. "Yes, that is a good idea." He closed his eyes, calming his mind once more. It was no use yelling at the dead.
"Sir, if I may-"
Benvolio opened his eyes again, raising his eyebrows at the servant. "What is it, man?"
"It's just, sir, thou art looking very pale tonight. Are you feeling well?"
I considered the questioned. The direct answer was to smile regretfully at him, for Balthasar had struck the truth. He did not feel well, for how could he when such tragedy had happened here? When his two best friends in the world were gone?
"I am fine, Balthasar," he finally answered. Physically, at least.
They left home, arriving at the Montague mansion as the moon was rising in the sky. His uncle, Lord Montague, had been waiting for him.
"Benvolio, nephew," he said. "How was thy passing of the afternoon?"
Benvolio did give a grim smile at this, for his uncle knew exactly what he had been doing. "As well as to be expected."
"Benvolio," his uncle croaked suddenly, with conviction. Benvolio's head snapped up, his eyes wide and alert. They had not ever really been close before, but now they were the only family they had left, so it didn't seem to mean much anyways. Lord Montague was reading his thoughts. "Thou art the closest relative I possess. You do realize that you art now the heir to the Montague family?"
Benvolio took this in with shock. No, he hadn't thought about it. Heir to the family, heir to the fortune, heir to the business… "I have never dreamed of this honor, uncle," he said, and he meant it. He had never wanted to in charge of things. That was what Romeo was for. Romeo was a leader. Not him.
His uncle relaxed. "I have confidence in you, Benvolio. You have a good soul. Your father's spirit."
Benvolio stiffened. "My father?"
"He was a great man," Lord Montague continued. Benvolio didn't know much about his father. He had died when Benvolio was very young, in a war. His mother and raised him until he was eight, when she died of fever, and after that he didn't need much raising. His father and Romeo's father had been brothers, he knew that.
"A great man indeed. He was few in his words, like you, Benvolio, but a more dependable man you would never see. He did save Verona from the gaping jaws of crisis. No, you will never see another man like him, except perhaps in yourself, son."
"Thank you, uncle," Benvolio whispered. He truly did not know what to feel. He was overwhelmed by emotion. He was only sixteen! He turned stiffly and walked back up into his room, getting straight into bed for the night, even though he did not rest for hours to come. When he did fall into an uneasy sleep, it was light, and he was easily awakened the next day by the morning sun.
A week and a day, Romeo, he thought. Mercutio, and week and two.
He pulled back to covers of his bed and dressed hastily. There was one last character he had yet to visit. But unlike the others, this one was not dead.
Benvolio did not tell anyone he was leaving the house. He just left in the early hours, with the sun just cresting over the horizon. The warm summer air was crisp, even as he got out of the main city and into the land owned by the church. It was nice, especially because there wasn't complete silence. There was the air and the singing birds and the crickets all there to support him. He wandered to the last cell at the end of the church building, and knocked on the door.
"Friar Lawrence?" he called. There was no reply. He waited a few minutes, knocked again, and waited some more. Still, nobody answered. Benvolio strained his ears. Was there noise inside? After some hesitation, he pushed open the door.
The only lighting from the inside was what came through the windows. The place was empty, devoid of everything except in one corner, where liquids and glass vials were kept. There was a short man there, hastily sorting and rummaging through everything. Two trucks were stacked behind him.
"Friar Lawrence?" Benvolio repeated. The man looked up, his mouth forming an O when he saw his visitor. Color draining from his face, he scrambled backwards, knocking over his chests. He started mumbling under his breath, crossing himself.
Shivers ran up Benvolio's back as he stepped towards the church man. "Friar! I just seek to talk!" he came up towards the table with all of the instruments on it, standing over the friar. He had always been tall for his age. "Tell me, sir, I need to know of my cousin-"
"Back, demon!" The friar yelled, pushing Benvolio away. Surprised, he stumbled back, landing on the table of vials and shattering quite a few of them. He gasped as he felt several places on his arm get pierced.
Benvolio rolled off the table, clutching his injured right arm. The friar opened his eyes, and for the first time, really looked at his guest.
"Benvolio Montague?" he asked, bewildered.
"Yes," Benvolio hissed through his teeth. "I wanted to talk to you about my cousin Romeo. I wanted to see if I could find some peace from you." He gritted his teeth and slowly raised his arm into his field of vision. It was not pretty. At least seven pieces of glass were embedded in his skin, and several of the tubes he had shattered had contained potions. Even as he watched, something bright blue trickled its way down his skin to mingle with his blood, turning it a dark purple color, which then slid off his fingertips.
Suddenly Benvolio was feeling very sick indeed. He stumbled towards the door, barely noticing the friar's frantic monologue behind him. "Sir! Thou have broken the-the-and I was just leaving. I cannot handle Verona anymore. Why did thou come here? I thought thou were Romeo's ghost! You share a resemblance, if only thy hair was as strait…"
Benvolio shouldered open the door and started running out of there, down into town. The words barely registered into his mind. They were irrelevant, anyways. He was taller, not as muscled as Romeo, and his eyes were brown, not green. Sometime while he was gone, dawn had broken in the city. Servants were walking about the streets, but they all stopped to stare at him as he sprinted past. The purple mess seemed to be multiplying. It was running down his entire body, even as he struggled towards the safety of the Montague household.
Abram, the oldest servant who had been working there since Benvolio was small, was outside the mansion. His eyes widened in shock as he recognized Benvolio. "Sir! What…what happened?"
"There was an accident," Benvolio gasped. "At the church. Please, if you could help me lay down…"
Abram dropped his things and helped Benvolio up the house. Lord Montague and Balthasar must have heard the commotion, for they were waiting at the door.
"Ay me!" his uncle gasped. "Your arm, nephew." Balthasar looked on helplessly.
"Get me a surgeon," Benvolio ordered him, and he ran to do so. "There was an accident. The friar's things, I just wanted to talk, about what happened, I thought-" he started trying to explain.
"Peace, Benvolio," his uncle ordered, helping him into his room. Benvolio collapsed on the bed. "Oh, what is this?"
"The friar's-" Benvolio gasped. "-potions. He had potions, in vials, and I snapped them…"
His uncle gasped, and all of the sudden, the worst thought struck Benvolio too: what if one was a poison? What if he was dying?
As soon as the thought came, his vision started to darken. The inevitable was coming. Death. He just couldn't last long without Romeo and Mercutio, couldn't he? He had always had them, as as soon as he didn't, he had proved himself a fool. Of course, he already was one. He had not helped his friends when they needed him most.
"Uncle," he sobbed, gasping for air. He was not sure whether the tears on his cheeks were of physical pain or his own selfish sorrow.
"Don't worry, Benvolio," his uncle said, pushing the sweaty curls off of Benvolio's forehead. "The doctor will be there soon. You will be fine."
Tears leaked out of the corners of his eyes, and Benvolio closed them, so he didn't have to see the tunnel vision. "Uncle, I will be fine, won't I?"
He didn't hear the reply. There were footsteps at the door, and then there was nothing.