It started slowly, with just the one petal getting stuck down my throat. Why I didn’t dare to tell anyone about it, I don’t know. I suppose I thought I had just swallowed one by accident when I had opened my mouth earlier to yell after Romeo. As always he was on the road to getting his fancy self into trouble. But that’s my cousin for you.
Welcome to my life. My name is Benvolio Montague, Prince of Shadows. That was just a personal joke of mine. In contrary to what many people believe of me I am not a minor character, leeching on the story threads of others like a desperate, shiny vampire. Although it sometimes feels that way, when I remember how long I have been chasing Romeo to keep him from doing something foolish – I don’t always succeed though.
Many people in Verona know me via Romeo as I am always sticking by his side. It isn’t odd as we’re about the same age and our parents have been friends for a long time, my father being his uncle. But they tend to refer to me as Lord Montague’s nephew, or Romeo’s cousin rather than just Benvolio Montague. Which I am, yet not solely. For being seen so many times a day wandering the streets people tend to think I am an orphan or something, possibly due to the amount of time the orphaned Capulets roam the city. I am thinking of Tybalt in particular. I have, in fact, a mother and a father, both alive and healthy – thank you very much. I wish I could say as much about me.
Because when we are wandering about the streets there aren’t just the two of us. We are with three. Romeo’s best friend, Mercutio. My best friend. When I look at him parading through the alleyways of Verona I feel my heart skip a beat. Mercutio isn’t the most logical friend for me. He’s outgoing, wild – his bravery often surpasses his wit. While I am tender of nature, more secluded. I like to keep myself to myself and if it hadn’t been for Romeo I would have happily spent my days staring out of the window, practicing my hand at calligraphy or playing unnecessary elaborated games that use a tremendous amount of fantasy. Because I am a dreamer, in a way. And it just so happens to be that Mercutio, despite the façade, is a dreamer just the same.
Let me spare him another thought before I tell you exactly how I am feeling today, because Mercutio’s description isn’t far from done yet. Why we became friends when he is so lively, so spirited, I can hear you ask? It’s because he sought out Romeo when we were younger. The two are always searching for boundaries and how to cross them. Without a guiding hand they'd be in trouble all of the time. Let that guiding hand be me.
Mercutio, being the nephew of Verona’s Prince, comes from a ridiculously wealthy family and has money aplenty - once he reaches the age of thirty that is. It’s as simple as that, and it has managed to be a sore spot for him ever since he found out about it. That doesn’t mean he is penniless. He still receives an abundant amount of pocket money and spends most of it on ridiculous blue and purple denim jackets and on the colouring of his hair. It’s fuchsia at the moment – he had to explain that to me over and over because I kept calling his hair pink. As you might have guessed, he isn’t your typical manly man either. He knows all about fashion, about actors and models, keeps his own ridiculous Tumblr account and has an Instagram he spams full with selfies. He actually has a lot of followers on it as well. It’s ridiculous.
His free time is spent browsing photos of – as he calls it – pussies, which are actual cat photos that sometimes make me cringe. I am quite certain he suffers from Toxoplasmosis and him teasingly calling Tybalt his famous Prince of Cats – well, I am not quite certain what to make of it.
My feelings for him are, well, complicated. Trust me, I have tried on several occasions to probe his emotional defence and find out who or what he fancied in others. I tried to burst through his carefully crafted shield of the happy-go-lucky boy he pretends to be, never worried nor sad and always with a proper joke on the tip of his tongue. How I wish to taste that tongue in an unrelenting kiss. Whenever I tried to get him to admit details about his sexuality he would laugh at me.
For a long time, Mercutio sided with the Capulets. Rosaline in particular. We all knew that he did it on purpose, since Romeo had a crush on her and didn’t know how to get close to her, so Mercutio took the lead and showed him the ropes. He got friends with her in a record time. But then she thought he was trying to make advances on her and admitted she was asexual. Mercutio stuck to the same label for a few months afterwards, claiming to be asexual as well when he clearly couldn’t take his eyes off men and women alike. I teased him about it, but he claimed he was just admiring their sense of fashion. As if.
But Mercutio was not asexual. And that was when the first petal got stuck down my throat, making me grab my neck in an attempt not to choke. I had never before felt as suffocated as this, not even in a hands-on fight.
It was when I spotted Mercutio in the arms of another.
Big thank you to the anon who requested hanahaki Benvolio -> Mercutio with lots of angst and pining. I've set to it. As always you can find me on my tumblr or go there directly via mercutio.nl
QUESTION TO MY FELLOW MERCUTIO LOVERS: Should Benvolio’s disease start at seeing Mercutio with Romeo, with Tybalt, or with someone else of your choosing? Let me know by posting your preference below or by sending it to my ask on tumblr =)