Just a little one-shot I wrote from Mercutio's POV, with his thoughts of Romeo. Act 3 Scene 1, for those who have read the play (Romeo & Juliet).
The sun beat down on the cobblestone streets of Verona. Citizens and common folk scattered, seeking the shaded indoors. Sweat dripped down the bridge of my nose, and for a moment I wished for nothing more than to shed my clothing and lie exposed to the heat. I felt as though I was being slowly roasted on a spittoon, like a turkey before a feast. Benvolio was right; it was far too hot to be out today, and the heat would drive us all mad.
I was torn from my thoughts by the sound of Benvolio’s voice.
“There, the Capulets”. I turned my head to the direction Benvolio was looking. I could see three figures ahead. One was Tybalt, the most headstrong of the Capulets, while I did not recognize the other two men.
“And Tybalt is among them,” I scowled, the name tasting like acid on my tongue. This was a man who had such nerve as to challenge Romeo. Contempt for him surged through my veins, and I reached unconsciously for my sword. Benvolio’s voice of reason stopped my hand, now resting on the sheath.
“Keep your temper in check, Mercutio. Heed the prince’s warning.” I stayed still, staring ahead, my hand still ready to take out my rapier at a moment’s notice. Tybalt approached, his eyes flicking about as though searching for someone. His eyes caught mine, and we both stared at each other with cold hatred.
“Mercutio, you know of Romeo. Where is he?” he asked of me, never breaking his gaze.
“I know not, but if you look for someone to challenge, I am here”, I spat.
Tybalt readied his retort, when Benvolio calmly interrupted.
“We are in public, with citizens about. If you wish to fight, go somewhere private.” Tybalt’s attention had already been lost. His gaze was fixed over my shoulder, on an approaching person.
“Ah, here is my man.” Tybalt moved forward as to meet this newcomer, and I in turn moved to block his path. I turned my head to see who this man was. Romeo walked towards us, looking like a god. His face glowed with pride and pleasure. For a moment, my heart tricked my mind into believing it was because he saw me. Then common sense brought me to reality; Romeo had almost certainly been spending time with Rosaline.
Realizing my thoughts were visible all across my face, I quickly turned back to Tybalt’s earlier remarks. I chanced a glance to Benvolio, to see if he noticed my abnormal behavior. To my dismay, the confused look upon his face told me he had indeed noticed. If he did not already know my secret affections, he certainly suspected. I needed to do something rash to prove my virility.
I looked back to Romeo and Tybalt. I was so caught up in my thoughts I didn’t see Romeo approach, or Tybalt’s confrontation. From what I could gather, Tybalt had proceeded to challenge Romeo but Romeo was…refusing? I shook my head. Never before had I seen Romeo turn down a challenge, much less one from a Capulet. Nevertheless, I saw the perfect opportunity to prove myself.
“Tybalt!” I shouted, attempting to gain his attention, “If Romeo will not duel with you, I will. Take your sword from your sheath.” I drew my sword, and Tybalt quickly took up his own rapier. “Please, Mercutio, put away your sword”, Romeo pleaded with me. For only a moment, I looked into his eyes and saw genuine concern and fear. Though I wished I could follow his careful instruction, deep within me I knew he could not hope to understand my situation. I turned away, to face Tybalt, and we began to duel.
I placed my complete focus on the fight at hand. It was difficult to think of anything else in the sweltering heat. Before I could stop him, Romeo had drawn his sword and was attempting to beat down mine and Tybalt’s weapons. Benvolio could only stand, dumbstruck as the scene unfolded.
The next seconds passed rapidly. Romeo had succeeded in hitting my rapier to the ground, but not Tybalt’s, leaving me defenseless .Tybalt took his chance and lunged, stabbing me just above the heart. I fell to the ground, wounded.
“Get a doctor,” I managed to gasp. “I am hurt, A plague o’ both houses!” I swore, my voice hoarse and my breath becoming ragged. As Romeo knelt beside me, I could feel my imminent doom approaching.
“Courage, Mercutio, the wound cannot be bad,” Romeo spoke, sounding as though he wished to convince himself as well as me. I looked into his piercing eyes, and we both knew my life was quickly fading. I realized now that this fatal wound and day were punishment for the terrible sin I committed. Punishment not only to me, but to the one I most loved, who must watch me die with guilt on his shoulders. As my vision began to blur, I looked upon Romeo’s beautiful face for what I knew was the last time.
“I’m sorry,” I said, my voice barely above a whisper. His face turned to confusion, not understanding. I reached for his hand.
Then everything went black.