Ch. 2

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.

"I need a doctor! Now!" Benvolio shouted, bursting through the doors of the hospital. Everyone in the waiting room turned to stare. He supposed that he couldn't blame them; while it wasn't unusual for Capulets and Montagues to rush into the emergency room, demanding medical attention, Benvolio was certain that this was the first time that a Montague came in demanding medical attention on behalf of a Capulet. "The Capulet needs help immediately!" No nurses or doctors moved. "Dost thou not see. that he is bleeding from the head?" At this a nurse grabbed a nearby stretcher and wheeled it over. "I thank thee much, nurse." Benvolio placed Tybalt on it. "He wast in an explosion. His head was hit and wounded was he. That is all I know; his name is Tybalt Capulet."

A doctor and another nurse came over. "We willst look after him," The first nurse assured, "and contact his nearest kin. Sittest thou and wait if thee want more news."

Benvolio watched as they wheeled Tybalt down a corridor and out of sight. He knew that it would be prudent to leave, before the Capulets showed up, but he couldn't bring himself to do so without first finding out if Tybalt would be alright. Although the Capulet had started the fire, Benvolio couldn't deny that, without Tybalt's help, he may not have escaped in time. And so he waited. About ten minutes went by before he felt a touch on his shoulder.

"Dear, Sir?" He turned to see a nurse looking down at him. "Wast thou in the explosion, too?"

"I was, but I am uninjured. Pray, how fares the Prince of Cats? Hast he awaken yet?"

"He has; his injury is mild. 'Tis but a mere concussion from the blow, good sir."

"Is't possible that I should see him, now?"

The nurse looked hesitant. "Thou art a Montague and therefore art his enemy. I am not sure if I-"

" Good nurse, why dost thou not ask he and if he replieth, 'No', I will away anon." Benvolio assured her.

"Thou speakest wise." The nurse turned. "I will away to asketh he and soon return with his reply." She left and returned a few minutes later with a smile on her face. "Good sir, I pray that thou wilt follow me. The Capulet hast granted thy request."

Benvolio rose to his feet and followed the nurse down a hallway. As they approached one of the doors, Benvolio was torn between amusement and alarm to hear a commotion.

"I pray thee sit thee down," A strange voice said, "for thou didst take a wound to the head and I suggesteth thou do rest. Thou mayst-"

"I do not need thy coddling!" Tybalt's voice shouted back. "I am alright and wouldst be better at mine home!"

"He ist through there." The nurse gestured towards the door, clearly too afraid to go in alone.

Benvolio himself wasn't sure whether he should be in the room with an irate and concussed Capulet, let alone one as irascible as Tybalt. But the Prince of Cats had wanted to see him, so Benvolio decided to take the chance. Taking a deep breath, he knocked on the door and then entered to see the Doctor, a thin, middle-aged man, with dark hair and glasses, trying to force the Capulet back onto the bed.

"Ah!" Tybalt grinned triumphantly. "Here comes my man! Doctor, thou canst leave!"

Shooting Benvolio a frank look of relief, the Doctor quickly stepped away from his patient. "My God!" He whispered to Benvolio. "The man hast been like this since he first did wake! Thou shouldst attempt to make him stay. It is my wish that he stay for one more test."

"I do not need another test, thou dog!" Tybalt snapped. "As soon as my kinsmen arrive I will away!" The doctor shook his head and left the room. "At last! I thought that idiot would never leave!" The Capulet leaned against the bed and gazed at Benvolio speculatively. "It is thanks to thee that I am alive."

Benvolio shrugged. "It is thanks to us both for we could not escape so soon without thine aid, Sir Capulet."

Tybalt waved this away. "Perhaps. But then you brought me here when I did faint. For that I thank thee, Benvolio."

"It was-"

"My Tybalt, dear!" The door flew open to reveal a woman who Benvolio recognized from the news as Lady Capulet. " Thou art not hurt, art thou?" Lady Capulet flung herself forward, drawing Tybalt into a deep kiss.

Well, Benvolio thought, that was unexpected. But he just glanced away. The Prince of Cats looks flustered and Benvolio didn't wish to harm the new peace that they seem to have by adding to Tybalt's embarrassment.

"My dear Aunt Gloria." Tybalt said in a tense tone. "Please do restrain thyself for we have company and these sentiments are best kept in privacy."

Benvolio snuck a glance upwards and saw Lady Capulet drop her arms and draw back, spinning around with a look of horror on for face. That look quickly changed to fury when she saw him. He blinked and took a step back as she raised her hand starting towards him. "What, art thou not satisfied with-"

Tybalt leapt forwards, grabbing his Aunt's wrist and wrapping an arm around her chest. "My Aunt I beg you to be peaceful, now! Benvolio was not the cause of this recent fray. 'Twas he that saved my life and brought me here!"

Lady Capulet narrowed her eyes, glancing back and forth between her nephew and Benvolio. "Canst it be true, my dearest nephew? Or dost thou speak in jest? For is not he a Montague?"

"A Montague is he, but still I speakest sooth. For he my life did save and he I owe much thanks, my dearest Aunt." Benvolio couldn't help but notice the scorn put into the endearment.

Suddenly, Lady Capulet's face broke into an adoring smile and she broke free of Tybalt's arms to pull Benvolio into an embrace, pressing her lips to his in a brief kiss. Benvolio shot a shocked look at Tybalt, who avoided his eyes. "And so he hath mine thanks, as well, Tybalt! Benvolio. Tonight we hold a joyous feast. A masque. I pray thee come and dine. My nephew is most dear to me and I wouldst thank thee, for thou his life didst save, good sir."

"I…" Benvolio hesitated. Even though both Tybalt and Lady Capulet seemed genuine, he was wary of this new found truce.

Tybalt's eyes found his. "I also wouldst thy presence beg. For by my honor 'tis not enough to thank thee, sir. If it doth please thou, I wouldst a friendship with thee form. So comest thou to sup with us tonight? If it doth thee assure, bring some kinsmen of thee to join our joyous feast."

Benvolio knew that if he refused he risked offending the Capulets and making the feud even worse. Furthermore, if Tybalt was sincere in his offer of friendship, this could only mean good for both families. "I do thee thank and will accept thy gracious offer, sir. What time shall I arrive?"

"At six'o'clock." Tybalt beamed and reached forward to clap Benvolio on the shoulder. "I look forward to seeing thee again."

"As do I." Tybalt's Aunt pulled him into another tight hug and Benvolio couldn't help but notice Tybalt's uncomfortable look; he wondered if the Capulet felt half as uncomfortable as he did.

"I pray thee, madam." Tybalt cleared his throat and placed a hand on his Aunt's arm. "We must away. We have do and little time. Dear sir," Tybalt addressed Benvolio, " goodbye. I will thee see tonight, I trust?"

"Aye, good Capulet. I bid thee farewell for now." Benvolio gave the two what he hoped was a reassuring smile. Only after the two had left the room did he allow himself to sink into the chair. What on Earth had he gotten himself into?