AN: So! I recently purchased one novel of a growing genre of literature: where an author rewrites a classic story and adds some sort of mythical creature/s. Along with Sense and Sesibility and Sea Monsters and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I am now the proud owner of Romeo and Juliet and Vampires.
So, seeing as my first play ever was After Juliet- which follows the Capulets and the Montagues from the moment the two familes discover the dead lovers- I couldn't help but insert those characters into the story: How would Lorenzo, Rhona, Bianca, Helena, Petruchio, Rosaline, Alice, Livia, and Gianni be as vampires? How would Valentine be as a vampire slayer?
This isn't a Romeo and Juliet and Vampiresstory though, simply the AJ characters reacting to Romeo and Juliet's meeting.
For those of you who don't the After Juliet characters, here's a brief descrpition:
Rosaline Capulet- Cousin of Juliet. Romeo's ex-girlfriend, though they technically never broke up.
Livia Capulet- Cousin of Juliet and Rosaline's half sister.
Bianca Capulet- Cousin of Juliet. Sister of Helena. Suffers from petit mal.
Helena Capulet- Cousin of Juliet and sister of Bianca.
Alice Capulet- Cousin of Juliet. Girlfriend of Petruchio.
Rhona Capulet- Cousin of Juliet. Lives in Glascow. Girlfriend of Gianni (at least in our version.)
Benvolio Montague- Cousin and friend of Romeo. Falls for Rosaline.
Mercutio- Friend of Romeo and Benvolio. Valentine's twin brother.
Valentine- Friend of Romeo and Benvolio. Mercutio's twin brother. Hates Capulets.
Petruchio Capulet- Cousin of Juliet. Brother of Tybalt. Boyfriend of Alice.
Lorenzo Capulet- Cousin of Juliet. Friend of Gianni. Worships Petrucio and Tybalt. Hates Montagues.
Gianni Capulet- Cousin of Juliet. Friend of Lorenzo. Boyfriend of Rhona (at least in our version.)
Rosaline Capulet was sure her eyes decieved her. Why would Romeo be here, at Lord Capulet's ball? But she saw him- his dark hair, his beautiful brown eyes. Despite herself, she flushed a light rose. Her mother had always taught her that to keep a man, one needed to push them away- and it worked. So if he was here, he must be here to see her.
With all the dignity she could muster, Rosaline made her way across the ballroom. She watched for a moment as her cousins Alice and Rhona tried to pull her other cousins Petruchio and Gianni onto the dance floor. Petruchio was easier to persuade then Gianni, it appeared. But the carmal haired fighter was wrapped around Rhona's little finger, so he eventually succumbed to his girlfriend's wills. On the other end of the room, Rosaline's cousins Lorenzo and Tybalt were busy trying to court two young women, who promptly left them and their cocky attitudes. The two merely shrugged and moved on to their next targets. Her cousin Bianca was leading her sister Helena onto the balcony, and Rosaline's half sister Livia was in pleasent conversation with Count Paris, Juliet's fiance.
Ugh. Juliet. No one could ever feel more loathing toward another person than Rosalie felt toward her cousin Juliet. Ever since they were young, Juliet got everything Rosaline ever wanted- her favorite doll, her favorite dress, her nurse, everything- and yet in the eyes of the Capulets, Juliet was perfect. The very thought of her sickeningly sweet cousin made the bile rise in Rosaline's throat. Then, she caught a glimpse of her Romeo's violet tunic and was reminded of her mission.
When she reached the spot she had last seen Romeo, only an unknown young man stood with his back toward her. Rosaline approached him, unsure as to whether he was a Montague or a Capulet- a foe or an ally. "Excuse me, sir?" she asked. The young man turned. He was tall and lean, with olive colored skin. His hair was as dark as night and was in need of a trim, for it keep falling in the way of his gray eyes. He smiled warmly. "Yes, milady?" he asked.
A charmer. Definately a relative of Romeo's, Rosaline noted. "I'm looking for a man about my age, clad in a purple tunic and black tousers. Has thou seen him?" she inquired.
The man's eyes lit in recognition. "Ah, you, my lovely, must be Rosaline."
Rosaline stared at the man in suspicion. "How do you know me?"
"Forgive my loss of manners. My name is Benvolio, cousin of Romeo." Rosaline nodded.
"My..." Benvolio trailed off, staring down at Rosaline with a idiotic grin. "Romeo spoke of thy beauty, and I thought my cousin was exaggerating. Now, I fear, I see he was making an understatement."
Rosaline flushed. "Why thank you, Benvolio, sir. But, where is thy cousin?"
"Last I saw, he was searching for one Rosaline Capulet," Benvolio answered with a wink. Rosaline rolled her eyes. "He went off in this direction." The Montague raised a finger and pointed straight ahead.
What he pointed at, however, turned Rosaline's heart to stone. Romeo, dancing with the one person Rosaline hoped her love would never met: Juliet Capulet. Rosaline watched in horror as Romeo, her Romeo, gave her cousin a passionate, well-recieved kiss.
Benvolio hissed as if in pain. Rosaline looked at her tall companion. "What a blow this must be, my lady Capulet," he said.
Rosaline puffed out her chest stubbornly. "'Tis no matter. I never truly loved Romeo. How could a Capulet love a Montague?" And she left, chin up, without waiting for an answer.
Benvolio stared after the lovely girl with a pitied look. How she must be hurting. The older Montague turned his gaze toward his cousin and his cousin's new lady friend. She had some of Rosaline's features, but not nearly as appealing. Nor as spirited. How could Romeo let a flower like Rosaline Capulet slip through his fingers? Benvolio wondered.
"Benvolio! What does thou see with those world-worn eyes?" Mercutio cried, clapping his friend on the shoulder.
Mercutio's stone-faced twin Valentine stood at Benvolio's other side and followed his gaze. "Romeo and his ill-chosen mate, it would appear." he drawled, sipping his wine.
Instead of answering the question, Benvolio fixed the younger twin with a glare. "The great Valentine daring to drink wine from a Capulet cup?" he asked.
The 'great' Valentine scoffed. "Of course not, this is my own flask," he replied. "Never trust a Capulet. This rule of life Romeo needs to learn."
"But that Rosaline sure is beautiful," Mercutio put in.
"Rosaline Capulet is a beauty. Yet our Romeo is not dancing with her, but a close relation," Benvolio said.
Mercutio's eyes turned knowledgable as he appraised the girl dancing with his friend. "Well whoever this maiden may be, she is lovely." The older teen turned his shining light brown eyes and blinding white teeth to his friends. "Come men, let us leave. Our Romeo seems to be in good hands and with any luck, will be with said hands well until the morn'."
Valentine rolled his hazel eyes but followed his brother and friend nonetheless. "Why anyone would want to spead a night in Capulet sheets, I'll never know."
Lorenzo Capulet narrowed his eyes as he caught sight of the three men across the ballroom. His cousin Tybalt soon stood at his side, nursing his swollen cheek, red from the slap mark of his latest dame. "Why so tense, Cousin?" he asked.
Eyes never leaving the trio, Lorenzo replied, "Montagues dare to enter Capulet soil."
Tybalt dropped his cheek and began to scan the crowd for the enemy. He spotted Benvolio and the twins and growled, the sound rumbling from deep within his chest.
"Shall we welcome our guests, Tybalt?" Lorenzo asked, hand hovering over the dagger tucked in his belt.
"Let us gather mine brother and Gianni. Best to have the power and the numbers in our favor," Tybalt responded. Lorenzo nodded curtly, before leaving his older cousin to find his best friend.
He found Gianni and Rhona just outside of the dance floor, laughing gaily. Lorenzo's brown eyes narrowed. Wasting time with women when the enemy had infultrated their territory. Shameful.
Lorenzo tapped Gianni on the shoulder hard. The carmel-haired young man turned and glared at his friend. "What business do you have, Friend? I'm with Rhona."
"I am not blind, Gianni, I can see who you chose to spend your time with." Rhona fixed her obsedien eyes on Lorenzo and glared. The Glascow native never was fond of her lover's friend.
Returning his attention back to Gianni, Lorenzo stated, "Montagues are here. Tybalt and I wish to...welcome them personally. Join us, won't you?"
Rhona grabbed Gianni's upper arm. "Gianni, don't be foolish. This is a party, not a war or a battle. The Montagues have done nothing to us tonight. Why start something?" she advised.
Gianni, ever the indecisive one, glanced between his friends hard brown-eyed gaze, and his girlfriend's pleading black-eyed stare. With a sigh of defeat, he pressed a kiss to Rhona's cheek. "My apologizes, my love, but I must protect my family." With a sigh of her own, Rhona relenquished her hold on his arm, and watched as Gianni and Lorenzo went back to Tybalt.
"Brother, please think about this. What is the point?" Petruchio pleaded as Gianni and Lorenzo arrived.
"The point, Petruchio, is that we hate the Montagues. If we allow them free passage through our castle, there is no telling what they might attempt to do."
"So you plan an attack based on speculations and hypotheses? These people are guests!"
"Lorenzo stands with me, Brother, even if you do not. Right?" Tybalt barked. The obediant Lorenzo stood appropriatly at Tybalt's right side and nodded.
"Very well, Gianni is with me. Right, Gianni?" Petruchio asked. No response. "Gianni?" he asked again, finally looking at the young man. Gianni's green eyes stared at his cousin with a mixture of sadness and resignation. "Believe me, Petruchio, I would stand with you any other time." With slow, deliberate steps, Gianni took his place at Tybalt's other side. "But I will spare no one to defend my loved ones."
Petruchio sighed. Did his cousins not see logic? Out of the corner of his eye, he saw three unknown men leaving the ballroom.
With a self-satisfied smirk, Petruchio gestured an arm to the doors. "Do you see the same sight I do? For I see three Montagues leaving and we are all still standing."
Gianni was the first to react. "Excellent. Now, I must return to Rhona before she threatens once more to behead Alice."
Walking with his cousin, Petruchio spoke in a worried voice, "Beg pardon, Gianni? Your love wants to behead mine? Pray tell?"
Lorenzo turned to Tybalt, awaiting instructions. The older Capulet sighed. "Let us go, Lorenzo. The danger of the Montagues has been avoided. For now."
Bianca Capulet stared into the night sky. She loved the stars of Verona's evening sky. At night, the chills were caused by the cold weather, not her flashes. And the Voices all around hushed to whispers when the sun set.
"Art thou alright, Sister Dearest?" Bianca turned her blank blue-grey eyes to the concerned almond colored eyes of her sister, Helena.
She smiled, not absent-mindedly but genuinely. "Of course." Helena nodded and returned to watching the sky herself.
Bianca, on the other, turned her attention to the ballroom. The lights. The colors of the ladies' dresses swirling around. The men's graceful steps. All of it more engaging then the last.
But unlike the stars, the ballroom made the Voices louder, more audible. They hissed in her ear, told her she was ugly. Told her she would never be happy, would never find love. She frowned. "Helena?" she asked softly. "Does thou think Juliet likes Count Paris?"
Helena turned to face the ballroom as she answered her sister. "I know naught, Sister. I know nothing of him."
"Who?" Livia Capulet asked, joining her two cousins in the crisp, night air.
"Count Paris," Helena responded.
"Oh! The Count is quite lovely. He is rather amiable, as well as intelligent and an excellent conversationalist. He isn't handsome by tranditional means, but he is not not handsome either," the petite blonde reported.
Bianca nodded absentmindedly as the Voices threatened to break her down again.
"Has our cousin Juliet taken a liking to him as well?" Helena asked.
"No. Our Juliet is courting another behind her parents' backs." Another voice chimmed in. The three females turned to the newest addition of their group. Alice Capulet crossed her arms, which -coupled with her low neckline- drew more attention to her womanly physique.
Bianca cocked her head to the side, yellow-brown hair cascading down one shoulder. "Juliet has two fiances?" she questioned.
"Of course not, Bianca, she is seeing another man," Alice clarified with a roll of her chocolate eyes.
"Who is this new suitor?" Livia asked, eyes sparking at the idea of gossip.
"No one knows. He's a stranger to all I've inquired," Alice remarked.
"He's a Montague."
The other girls turned to Bianca with skeptical eyes. "How would thou know of his lineage?" Livia asked.
"The Voices told me. The Voices see all, for they are not bound to mortal eyes."
Alice rolled her eyes and Livia shook her head but Helena placed a comforting hand on her sister's shoulder. "I believe you, Dear Sister."
"The Voices say there will be trouble," Bianca went on, looking into the ballroom, but not seeing it.
"Livia, Helena, let us leave Bianca to her foolishness and talk of faeries. I crave a drink. Care to join me?" Alice asked.
"Ooh! But of course! A drink sounds perfect!" Livia exclaimed, clapping her hands in glee.
Helena turned to look at her sister with a pained look. For as long as she could remember, she was Bianca's keeper. And for once, she wanted to have her own fun.
"Bianca, I'm going to drink with Alice and Livia. I'll return shortly." Bianca simple stared into the ballroom with emotionless eyes, not even appearing to have heard her sister. Alice shrugged and all but dragged Helena inside, Livia in tow.
Biance stood alone on the balcony, the Voices whispering to her that death is on the way.
AN: What do you think?