A/N: Thank you to qualls1 for informing me that the name which comes first in a pairing tends to be the more dominant! Prompted much amusement in the fictional realm.
RoMus has returned to the game!
RoMus: OK, NOW I'm ready!
LeatherJacket: ...I'm done.
RoMus: Oh, now you change your tune!
LeatherJacket: I was never challenging you.
LeatherJacket/B3N86546: Can you see now? I CARE!
B3N86546/LeatherJacket: How can you STILL NOT GET THIS? HOW? I NEVER WANTED ANY OF THIS AND YOU EXPECT ME TO LOVE YOU FOR KILLING MY FRIEND RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME?
LeatherJacket/B3N86546: It's not reality!
B3N86546/LeatherJacket: It's the principle! I practically begged you both to stop and no! Not a hope! No one cares about me enough to cause a slight dent to their pride?
LeatherJacket: Oh, f*** off, Romeo.
RoMus and LeatherJacket are ready to duel! This is all about reflexes! Point and aim with the mouse, and fire your chosen weapon with the mouse button! As the challenged, LeatherJacket shall select the weaponry.
B3N86546: ...F*** the pair of you.
B3N86546 is now offline.
LeatherJacket has selected pistols! The duel has begun!
RoMus: My love for Juliet shall be my pistol!
LeatherJacket: What've you done with Ben?
RoMus: Eh? I SAID I LOVE JULIET.
1 minute to teleportation!
LeatherJacket: What makes you think I give a flying *# * who my cousin is #**ing?
RoMus: Nice try, but psychology won't work on me!
LeatherJacket: Oh it's all about you-
Teleport to the arena. All conversation will now cease.
Fullscreen mode activated. Images may cause distress. Arena selected: Barren wasteland. Shoot on three. Shots to chest and head will be fatal. Three bullets each.
Contestant 1: LeatherJacket, hereafter Tybalt.
Contestant 2: RoMus, hereafter Julietzboif
Tybalt's gun has malfunctioned.
Julietzboif shoots Tybalt in the chest.
Julietzboif is victorious.
Last words have been enabled.
Tybalt: This isn't over. It will never be over.
A while later, in Romeo's email inbox:
It has come to our attention that you have attempted to hack the account "LeatherJacket". This behaviour is unacceptable. However, as cases have also been levelled against the account in question and another "MerkyMentality", you will be muted for 24hours, rather than banned. The two other accounts have been issued with life bans.
Any further abuse of the system will lead to the same.
Escalus. URPG moderator.
Reality, as we understand it:
Lifts move very slowly indeed when you're a teenage boy desperately trying to climb three floors and demand answers to some very pressing questions indeed.
It's only a game.
It isn't real. It wasn't real. Mercutio is upstairs, probably laughing hysterically at something not very funny and brushing his hair.
Well, maybe not brushing his hair.
Just- No. Can't just ignore it. I can't.
What's there to lose?
Mercutio's email inbox:
Due to your flagrant disregard for the no-hacking-of-other-people rule, we have concluded that you and your IP address are no longer, and will never again be, worthy of account-constructing privileges.
Deal with it.
Escalus. URPG moderator.
P.S. Condolences upon your avatar's death.
A mixture of seething and disappointment battled it out in Mercutio's general stomach area. It had probably been a stupid idea to log back in after the you-have-died-haha-five-minute-timeout-bam business and try to hack Tybalt. Of course, Tybalt had hacked him first. That was the kick in the teeth, really. Their long internet rivalry might have finally drawn to a close, with this realisation of inanity, but there were several other points of attack and Mercutio is nothing if not persistent.
Well, until a door crashes open and a person of whom he cannot be less than fully aware storms in.
A man on a mission.
Did Ben have any idea how attractive that was?
Probably not the best time.
"What were you going to say?"
Mercutio suppresses a wince as the words catch in his ears. Ah. Yes. What had he been going to say? It was just as well that Tybalt had disabled last words. It would have been so very awkward.
It was going to be so very awkward.
"What was it?"
The dark haired boy's lies died on his lips as he turned to face his friend.
Ben waited expectantly for a significant period of time.
"You were saying?"
"No, we've had that bit."
"Kindly discontinue your attempts to afflict me with déjà vu and get to the point."
"I. That is, I...because I am- because you- bec-cause...I..."
It certainly wasn't the time to hold one's breath, but Benvolio's lungs seemed to be attempting suicide.
New text from T-Balt!
Your dad's throwing a strop. Come back or I'll tell him where you are.
New Text from Obligatory Relative 3!
Why would you do that bbz? We're bff! And OMG that would be so HARSH!
New text from T-Balt!
He keeps calling me. Not my problem. You sort it with him.
New text from Obligatory Relative 3!
New text from BASTARD!
You have one hour. Get deciding, lassie.
The Nurse: Your Online Agony Aunt!
Juliet: So I've got to choose my husband or my dad!
Nurse: How awkward for you.
Juliet: It's TRUE LOVE, Nurse!
Nurse: No question.
Juliet: YOU understand, don't you? No one ever seems to understand me, or my darling, or our love, or our hardships, or our undying affection, our everlasting bond, which is so beyond truth that no one can even begin to describe its magnificence and all other beings fall silent in silent praise, silently, so that we may enjoy that silence together in ultimate blissful unity.
Nurse: I completely understand.
Juliet: Nurse, you're my BEST FRIEND!
Nurse: Now, as I see it, dear, this marriage to Paris IS unfair, but it might be easier to just talk to your father about it. He may be able to understand your reluctance.
Juliet: Father doesn't understand. He never seems to understand me, or my darling, or our love, or our hardships-
Nurse: You need to give him a chance, sweetie.
Nurse: Why do I &*%!ing bother?
Eighteen new messages!
Darling! What's all this about you being almost banned from URPG and associated forums?
Boy, do I need to remind you that Escalus' approval is absolutely crucial to me closing the seventeenth deal with his father?
ANSWER YOUR BLOODY PHONE!
Your mother tells me that you are not answering your texts! Is this true?
All hell's just broken loose.
Clear your diary for the next forty-two hours; you need to be available for me to box your ears.
From Uncle Fred:
Romeo! Bill's really hacked off with you. Call me when you get this.
DARLING! MY DARLING BOY ARE YOU ALRIGHT!
YOU'RE NOT ALRIGHT! I KNEW IT!
Your mother informs me that she's had a premonition of your death! Stop trying to give her a heart attack and get back here at once!
I don't know quite who you think you are, thinking you can just drop dead somewhere without answering your text messages.
I hope it was excruciating.
HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED IN A TRACTOR RELATED ACCIDENT?
ARE YOU CURRENTLY DANGLING FROM A LAMPPOST, WITH RUFFIANS RIFLING THROUGH YOUR POSSESSIONS?
Now might be a good time to tell you that I can track the location of your iPhone. See you soon, boyo.
IM conversation. Romeo + Juliet in communication with Friar Lawrence.
HappyCouple: Friar, we just don't know what to do! Our match is so forbidden!
HoundDog: Perhaps you should have timed it to not exceed your bedtimes.
HappyCouple: Do not mock us, fair friar, we are in haste!
HoundDog: You young people always are.
HappyCouple: They will refute our marriage; we know it! There are all kinds of tricks they can pull to test our legally binding love for each other!
HoundDog: Well, it was nice meeting you both.
UNHappyCouple: You cannot cast us out like this! We're your obligation! We have been married!
HoundDog: How am I supposed to work this out?
UNHappyCouple: What would God have us do?
HoundDog: Oh god, who knows.
UNHappyCouple: That WAS why we asked.
UNHappyCouple: Because GOD KNOWS.
UNHappyCouple: Tell us his commands! What would Joan of Arc have done in our place?
HoundDog: Oh, I don't know, elope?
HoundDog: Hello? That was a joke.
HoundDog: I was joking. Jesting. Having a laugh. Not serious.
HoundDog: SO not serious, in fact.
HoundDog: ! #&ing sarcasm!
RoMusDaSexBomb, here is your basket summary:
1 set daggers; two-pack.
1 vial of poison, giving appearance of death if you're a consummate actor. Flavour: mint.
2 tickets to Paris.
1 copy of "Randy" issue 9.
"Because, Benvolio, I am absolutely besotted with you."
With those words, the world faded away.
MerkBerk's Twitter Feed:
MerkBerk: BenTheSuit and self are not married, but rather, associated. Thank you all for your kind support of #Bencutio.
BenTheSuit: MerkBerk You do realise that #Bencutio gives YOU the subordinate role, right?
BenTheSuit: MerkBerk Can't say I'm complaining, but I didn't expect you to accept it quite so readily.
MerkBerk: BenTheSuit ...What. Why?
BenTheSuit: MerkBerk Apparently, the name which comes first in the pairing name for "slash" pairings (whatever that means) is the dominant person.
MerkBerk: As I was saying, BenTheSuit and self are not married, but rather, associated. Thank you all for your kind support of #Mercolio.
BenTheSuit: MerkBerk HAH! It sounds like a disease and you know it. #Mercolio.
BenTheSuit: MerkBerk Or a boiled sweet. #Mercolio.
BenTheSuit: MerkBerk A COMBINATION! A boiled sweet which leads to illness! #Mercolio.
MerkBerk: BenTheSuit Not talking to you anymore.
BenTheSuit: MerkBerk Oh not the pouting. Not looking.
MerkBerk: BenTheSuit We both know you can't resist looking.
BenTheSuit: MerkBerk I damn well shall!
Merkberk: BenTheSuit Even if I were to do something particularly...exciting?
BenTheSuit: MerkBerk Need I mention how inappropriate that comment was?
MerkBerk: BenTheSuit Feel free to mention it at length.
BenTheSuit: MerkBerk ENOUGH.
MerkBerk: BenTheSuit That waz just unnecessaet.
BenTheSuit: MerkBerk "waz"?
MerkBerk: BenTheSuit You have only yourself to blame, Mr Glomp.
BenTheSuit: MerkBerk I do not "glomp".
MerkBerk: BenTheSuit In which case, you can stop nuzzling my neck.
BenTheSuit: MerkBerk Have some consideration. This is a public twitter feed.
MerkBerk: BenTheSuit I know. xD
BenTheSuit: MerkBerk You are the world's biggest bastard.
MerkBerk: BenTheSuit Aren't you so very lucky? #Mercolio
BenTheSuit: Followers, kindly convince the fool that #Bencutio trounces #Mercolio in every possible way?
MerkBerk: BenTheSuit I fear you'll have to convince me yourself.
"So remind me, why are we pretending to be mutually glomping each other?"
Mercutio shrugged. "Entertainment value. It's merely an extension of the fact that we are, as previously, sharing a sofa and watching television."
"A hobby I have always rather enjoyed." Ben admitted as a tanned hand brushed his hair out of his eyes.
Silence fell. There was no fanfare, no firework display, no explosion as tension tore itself apart and swept them along with it. There was only the two of them, as had always been, doing what they had always done- sitting on a sofa, watching some godawful programme purely for each others' interjections.
The fact that Mercutio happened to have his arm round Ben was merely a natural extenuation.