A/N: Our school is doing a production of Romeo and Juliet (I'm Juliet, yay!) and I was watching this scene, and the two girls playing Mercutio and Benvolio inspired me to write this, because I'll ship everything that moves together- I call this ship Bencutio and it is my Romeo and Juliet OTP. I love you guys is you manage to read this, and please review!
It was a quiet day. The sun was out, the cobbled streets were shining. There was no indication of the events that were soon to occur.
But Benvolio had a feeling.
"I pray you, good Mercutio, let's retire; the day is hot, the Capels are abroad, and if we meet we shall not 'scape a brawl..." he said urgently, not understanding his own actions. And then he saw them. "By my head, here come the Capulets," he murmured, a lingering feeling of doom settling over him. There were two men walking towards them, one whom Benvolio recognised, by the name of Tybalt, and the other who was unfamiliar.
"By my heel, I care not," Mercutio replied, although he was watching Benvolio out of the corner of his eye. He didn't want his...friend to get hurt—although with the presence of the Capulets the sentiment seemed laughable- impossible.
Tybalt strode towards the two men, and Benvolio unconsciously slipped his hand into Mercutio's. It was a friendly gesture, he was sure.
"Gentlemen, good e'en: a word with one of you," Tybalt demanded loudly, and his sidekick glowered at Benvolio, making him shift his weight onto his other foot nervously.
Mercutio detached his hand from Benvolio's and stepped forwards until he was probably a little bit too close to Tybalt.
"And but one word with one of us?" he mocked. "Couple it with something; make it a word and a blow."
Benvolio gasped. Surely Mercutio wasn't...inciting a fight?
"You shall find me apt enough to that, sir," Tybalt hissed. "Mercutio, thou consortest with Romeo."
Mercutio replied with a derisive snort: "Consort? What, dost thou make us minstrels?"
Benvolio groaned at the bad pun. And then Romeo appeared. Benvolio grabbed Mercutio's hand again, trying to surreptitiously point out their friend, without alerting Tybalt to the young Montague's presence.
But of course Tybalt saw.
"Well, peace be with you, sir, here comes my hand," Tybalt snapped, turning to Romeo, who looked happy for the first time in weeks. There was an explosion of noise as Tybalt, while striding towards Romeo, yelled: "ROMEO! The love I bear thee can afford no better term than this: thou art a villain."
Romeo looked up, surprised, and stepped away from Tybalt's now close proximity, his eyes wide.
"Tybalt, the reason I have to love thee doth much excuse such a greeting: villain am I none."
"Boy," Tybalt snarled, "this shall not excuse the injuries thou hast done me."
"I do protest!" Romeo defended. "I never injured thee!"
Tybalt laughed, and the sound was like nails on a chalkboard. It sent shivers down Benvolio's spine; something bad was about to happen.
"And so, good Capulet," Romeo continued, "which name I tender as dearly as mine own, be satisfied."
And that was when Benvolio realised he should have been paying closer attention to what Mercutio was doing.
"O calm, dishonourable, vile submission!" Mercutio said loudly, moving forwards. "Tybalt, you rat catcher, will you walk?"
Benvolio was too shocked to move, let alone stop Mercutio.
"What wouldst thou have with me?" Tybalt asked, beginning to circle around Mercutio. Mercutio, Benvolio noted with pride, stood his ground, staring Tybalt straight in the eye.
"Good King of Cats, nothing but one of your nine lives," Mercutio quipped.
"I am for you," Tybalt replied, a smirk lighting up his features as he drew his sword. And the funny thing is, if Romeo hadn't interrupted, then Mercutio might have lived.
"Gentle Mercutio-" the idiotic boy said, and Mercutio was distracted just long enough for Tybalt to lunge forward.
Benvolio knew that Mercutio was the better swordsman, but he was taken by surprise, and he had the added distraction of a frantic Romeo.
"Tybalt! Mercutio! The Prince expressly hath forbid this! Hold, Tybalt! Good Mercutio!"
Tybalt was paying no heed to Romeo's words, but Benvolio could see through his film of anxious tears that Mercutio was turning to glare and Romeo, and...
"NO!" Benvolio yelled, watching as the blood pooled underneath Mercutio's clothes and he staggered, almost drunkenly, to the wall of the alley, hand pressed to his now heavily bleeding stomach.
Tybalt had stabbed him.
"Art thou hurt!?" Benvolio cried, running to Mercutio, ignoring the fact that he had no protection or defence against Tybalt's sword, only caring in that moment about his best friend...
"Ay, ay, a scratch, a scractch," Mercutio insisted, trying to downplay the agony. He could never bear to see Benvolio in pain, and knew that the younger boy would be horrified if he knew the extent to which Mercutio was injured. But he had to let Benvolio know, somehow, that he was gone, he was as good as dead already. "Marry, 'tis enough," he croaked.
"Courage, man, the hurt cannot be much," Romeo said insensitively, running over to Mercutio's other side.
"'Twill serve," Mercutio replied. "Ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man," he clutched at Benvolio's hand as anger coursed through his body. His face turned towards Romeo and he spat his last words: "A plague o' both your houses."
A tear slid down his cheek, and his lips pressed gently to Benvolio's trembling hand before he looked back up at where Romeo stood, helpless.
"A plague o' both your houses."
"NO!" Benvolio yelled, throwing himself onto Mercutio's body and feeling a sob wrench through him. "Please...Mercutio...I love you...come back..."
He barely noticed that Romeo had moved back to stalk Tybalt like a predator. While he was broken, devastated, Romeo was lethal, angrier than he'd ever been.
But Benvolio could only cry as the man he loved slipped away from him forever.