Disclaimer: Not mine *shudders*

A/N: I (still) have no clue why I'm doing this. I despise this play. I just… plot puppies! They are to blame… And Mercutio. Because while I despise this play, I rather like him.

We'll All Be Dancing Yet

They've been friends forever. Pretty Romeo, strong Benvolio, and dashing, charming Mercutio. It's been this way forever, and they suspect that it will continue this way for another forever more. Inseparable, the family says, as close as brothers. They would die for each other.

(So they would. So they would.)

Romeo is a lover. Poetry and flowers and beauty and romance. He lives in a whirlwind of agony and ecstasy, slipping between the two extremes with an alarming alacrity. He's young, so young, the youngest of all of them, and trying so hard to grow up in time.

The Montagues are at war with the Capulets, and all soldiers are needed. So pretty Romeo trains and he learns sword craft, and he's good, he really is, there's no denying that.

But Romeo is a lover, not a fighter, and Benvolio and Mercutio exchange wary glances and silently and secretly agree to keep an eye on their young friend.

Pretty Romeo, strong Benvolio, and dashing, charming Mercutio. Mischief-making, trouble-seeking, migraine-inducing youngsters, they are, according to Montague.

(Lady Montague adores them, of course. Lovable rogues, she calls them, particularly Mercutio as he sketches a bow and kisses the back of her hand.)

Benvolio is a fighter. He's the oldest of the trio, the wisest and most sensible of them all. And though he's turned more female heads than he knows, he's never shown more than casual interest in any of them. He's all steel and leather, tough as nails and quick to prove it. Only for his friends does he soften, and then only to wish to slam their immature heads together in exasperation.

He eagerly walks the front lines in the feud between his cousin's family and the Capulets. And yet strong Benvolio holds the precarious position of Father Confessor for Mercutio, who has been adopted into this wild mass of kin by way of Romeo's open heart and Benvolio's staunch support. Benvolio alone knows that plans have been put in motion by Paris, cousin of Mercutio (their Mercutio), to marry the daughter of Capulet. This is hard, because Benvolio is loyal to Montague, but Mercutio is Mercutio and he knows that Montague can be unreasonable.

He holds his tongue, because Benvolio is a fighter, not a lover, but he knows when to pick his battles.

Pretty Romeo, strong Benvolio, and dashing, charming Mercutio. They're a wild three, they are, composed of love and strength and pure audacity. It's a match crafted in the darkest forests of magic and dreams, and nurtured in the shadow of an overbearing ancient house.

(This explanation was a result of Mercutio dosing Romeo with a little too much wine before Benvolio could stop him. Romeo began waxing eloquent about their friendship, upon which Mercutio began regretting his decision to inebriate the kid.)

Mercutio is neither lover nor fighter, but a little bit of both. He's a mystery, wrapped up in charm and smiles, freely spreading his infectious life around to anyone who will accept it. He's sort of rough around the edges, not exactly appropriate for polite company, and completely outrageous. The old women in the village of Verona shake their heads in despair of ever settling young Mercutio down. Montague shrugs and dismisses the boy's unruliness.

Romeo loves him. (Of course he does: this is Romeo we're talking about.) Mercutio is hauled into Romeo's family with little more than a wink and a nod, and when he meets Benvolio, the older man takes one look at him, shoots a longsuffering glance at Romeo (who smiles, encouragingly), and then gruffly makes room in his heart for one more.

Mercutio does not fight for Montague out of loyalty to the man nor for the sake of personal grudge against the Capulets. No, Mercutio fights for the love of the action, the feeling of a sword in the palm of his hand and the rush of blood under his skin as blades whistle and insults fly through the air. He protects Romeo for Romeo's sake, and draws steel at Benvolio's side for Benvolio's. He is nobody's man but his own, and if he chooses to follow Benvolio and Romeo, that's because Mercutio is neither a lover nor a fighter, but has always been both.

Pretty Romeo, strong Benvolio, and dashing, charming Mercutio. Passion and steel and wit infused with loyalty and mischief and fearlessness. It's a daring combination only the most shockingly audacious would invent.

(Mab rather thinks it's one of her best works.)

A/N: One line, just one line pops into my mind and all of a sudden I've written a fic… *sigh* Such is the way of the author.