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What College Does

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Picture it: Litania University, flowering with that autumn feeling, students of all cliches trying to find themselves and become the adults they dreamed of becoming when they were five and believe adults had it easy. Yes, LU simply was the best college to be at. At least, that was the truth if your name was not Benvolio Montague and you did not have any sort of cousin who is prone to well, daydreaming.

Benvolio could do without the heat. He could do without the Capulets. He could do without that one skateboarding kid who always seems to have Starbucks in his hand but is never seen in the actual building (or even in class, for that matter). He could even do without the "It's Lit" posters everywhere. School spirit at it's finest. No one is sure how far the list of casual dislikes goes, but one thing everyone knows he could do without is constantly having to watch over his younger cousin.

Today, of course, Romeo Montague got stuck in an elevator.

To make matters worse: he got stuck in an elevator with Marius Pontmercy.

So Benvolio makes his way down the hallway, calls maintenance, and waits by the door of the elevator, listening for about an hour of "I'll never see Cosette" and "I'll die before I can kiss Juliet one last time." Ben had to admit though, Marius was much more pleasing to listen to when he wasn't passionately talking about his dead father whom he has never interacted with or crusading Napoleon's greatness.

"Jesus, how long have they been at it?"

Benvolio felt an icy object on his cheek and jumped a little. He glanced down at his phone, "about forty-six minutes since you said you would be here, so I would say an hour and three minutes total."

"Aw Babe, you did wait for me. That's so sweet."

"Mercy, you didn't give me much choice. I did give you money and as much patience as I could. The only thing I could do was wait--Mercutio what the fuck did you get me?"

"Your new favorite iced coffee and all of my wonderful personality." Mercutio threw back his head, laughing the sort of laugh that came from pure happiness. It was a nice change of pace, Benvolio half-shrugged and continued to sip the coffee.

"You aren't wrong. God, they've been at it forever. I think I would have gone insane if you didn't show up at all." He closed his eyes and laid his head against the cold wall.

"I wish more people felt the same," Mercutio mumbled, glancing at the silver doors of the elevator.

"Hmm? I didn't catch that."

"Nothing... Nothing, I was just wondering who that Juliet girl he keeps moaning about is." Mercutio slid down next to him.

"Probably another poor soul like Rosalind or Rosaline or Rose," Benvolio shrugged, "he must be on the Js now."

"Rose, like the art major dude?"

"No," Ben said, "like the girl with the pretty brown hair and always wore the ear cuff that was shaped like stars."

"Beatrice?!"

"Was that her name?!"

"Yeah, dude did you not know that?!"

"Mercutio, he's been through how many lost crushes in the past month?"

"True, True..." Mercutio took a sip of his drink and sighed. "They sure do take their time, don't they?"

"But you're here, so it's not so bad." Benvolio jokingly poked his shoulder and pushed Mercutio.

"I'm blushing." Mercutio laughed again, clearly neither one flustered in any way. In the background, the screams and cries of two lovesick men stuck in an elevator rang out.

After a few minutes or possibly twenty, Mercutio glanced around the rather boring hallway. The whole place smelled musty and strangely like bananas. A few posters hung on the wall, some clinging for dear life as the last bits of tape threatened to let go. He glanced at Benvolio. The other had his eyes closed, drifting in and out of what appeared to be sleep, but Mercutio knew he was trying to drown out his cousin's incessant self-pity. Marius, at least, finally quieted down.

"I spy with my little eye...something..."

"If it's another 'It's Lit' banner, I will never speak to you again."

"Oh come on Benny, it's not that bad!"

"Uh-huh."

"Yes! Something...that will make your day." Mercutio grinned ear to ear.

"What do you mean?" Benvolio opened his eyes to the sound of the elevator opening.

"OH THANK GOD. I thought I would never see the light of...the ceiling ever again!" Romeo nearly collapsed on the ground but rather chose to dramatically fall against the glass walls of the common room. "How long was I stuck in there?"

"Just a little under two hours. It's been a slow day." Benvolio shared a look with Mercutio and the two of them smiled. "Wasn't Marius with you?"

"Oh yeah...right." Romeo turned on his heels and pressed the elevator button. Luckily, no one thought of trying to use it in the minute since it released him. He stepped in and slowly emerged with a fairly dead-inside Pontmercy. "We are safe now. Don't worry. You will see Cosette again."

"I didn't walk by her at the same time as every Tuesday. What if she thinks I have transferred or got expelled?" he whined.

"Buddy, pal, bro. I don't think you have to worry about that anytime soon." Benvolio stood up and took another sip of his unknown drink. "Romeo, can I speak with you over there."

"Ah yeah, what for?" Romeo followed Benvolio closely as they turned towards the stairwell, leaving Marius and Mercutio behind.

"What floor do we live on?" Benvolio frowned.

"The fifth."

"And do you know what this door leads to?"

"The stairs. Do you not know where they lead to?"

"Romeo, I know full well where this door leads to. I go through it every day. The benefit of stairs is you don't have to wait for the elevator, can get exercise without it being inconvenient, and oh yeah, there's no fucking reason why you need to take the elevator all the time. We live on the fifth floor. It's not that far away." Benvolio threw his hands up in the air. "Next time, don't make me wait outside for two hours...at least...not without warning."

"I'm sorry, if i knew it woul-"

"No. Just...no. I'm done. I've had a long day and shouldn't have taken it out on you, although you did come back at three a.m. last night." Benvolio sighed, shook his head, and opened the door. He left a fairly confused and upset Romeo behind, but he knew better than to stay there and let his temper get the best of him.

"Oh look, it's a Montag-EW--woah what's your rush?"

"Fuck off Peter." Benvolio hissed and nearly knocked the poor boy down three flights of stairs in his haste.

"Yeah well-well fuck you too!" he sputtered, almost lifting Ben's mood. Almost.