Ch. 1

By ROSSELLA1

Note: I do not own Romeo and Juliet or any of its characters. First Shakespeare fic, so not perfect. Con-crit is welcome.

The flames crept higher and higher, casting heat and flickers of light on Benvolio's face. Stumbling to his feet, he looked around, only to find that the flames formed a semicircle in front of him. The only way that wasn't blocked was behind him, through the gas station. But who knew how long it would stay that way? Benvolio backed away from the flames, towards the store.

"What, dost thou turn and run, thou 'cursed dog?" A voice beside him said, and Benvolio turned to see a gun pointed at his temple. "Upon my word, thou shalt not leave unharmed!"

Apparently, fate had decreed that Tybalt, who had started the fire, must be entrapped by it, as well. But that hardly helped Benvolio. "I turn to 'scape the flames, good Capulet! Please drop thy weap'n and help me dodge sure fiery death, for you are trapped as well as I."

A smirk touched the Prince of Cat's lips. "And why shouldst I aid my enemy? What hast thou ever done for me, thou cur? I could but kill you then find my own way out."

"I have not started this disastrous mess!" Benvolio pointed out. "Twas you who dropped that flaming cigarette!"

Tybalt bit his lip. "Twas not with intention of starting the flame."

"What doth intent matter now? We must escape or stay and burn!" Benvolio was relieved when the Capulet nodded and lowered his gun.

"Thou speakest sense, Benvolio. Our duel can be placed on hold, but, once this is through, our partnership must end."

It wasn't what Benvolio had been hoping for but, knowing Tybalt's dedication to honor, he supposed it was the best that could be expected. By now the circle of flames had grown tighter, and there was little time to waste. "My thanks. Now let us enter this station. Perhaps it has an exit in the rear. " The pair turned and headed through the door.

Benvolio was both surprised and glad to find that the building was empty. Clearly the civilians had had the sense to flee once the fight and the fire had broken out. However, he couldn't help but be disheartened when he saw the station. It was a small, single- room building, with only windows and the door through which they had just entered as means of escape.

"It is no use!" Tybalt growled, frustration evident in his tone. "The only exit lies behind and that is blocked by a firey wall that we cannot put out! It is for naught!"

"Do not thou fret! For, Tybalt, we have means to reach the windows high. Help me to find some boxes or something that we can stack."

Benvolio started emptying the Pepsi bottle out of the plastic holders and placing them one on top of the other. He could hear Tybalt rummaging around on the opposite side of the store. He heard a loud explosion and pieces of debris were sent flying. He heard a cry from the opposite side of the store and turned to see the Capulet with a gash in his head. He made to go to his aid, but Tybalt waved him away.

"Do not thou stop! I will be fine!"

Benvolio had his doubts but he knew that if Tybalt needed help, they'd need to get out of the station first. He finished all the sodas and managed to get five stacked on top of each other. Tybalt came over, lugging the whole cash register.

Well, Benvolio shrugged, it worked. "Me thinkest that should be good. Art thou strong enough to pull thyself the rest of th'way?" Tybalt merely smirked and flexed his bicep in reply. "Then thou go first and I will follow you."

Tybalt narrowed his eyes and hesitated, then he nodded and climbed up onto the pile. In one smooth motion, he pushed down on the window sill and swung himself up, kicking out the window and letting himself drop. Benvolio quickly climbed up after Tybalt and jumped up onto the sill, turning around, he hung from the ledge and then let himself drop.

"What tookst thou so long, Benvolio?"

Benvolio was surprised to hear Tybalt's voice from behind him. He turned, half expecting to find the Capulet pointing a gun at his head, ready to finish the fight. But the man just stood there, swaying on his feet, hand pressed to his head.

"It is not of great importance. Let us away while we still can; before the flames do spread." Benvolio shrugged off his shirt and took a step forward. "Thou wound-"

"Is nothing. We need-" With a groan, Tybalt fell forward onto his knees.

"Shit!" Benvolio hurried forward, wrapping the shirt around the man's head. "Tybalt?" The Capulet was out cold. "Dammnit." Benvolio hoisted the man in his arms and set off towards the nearest hospital.