Where: their New York City apartment
Romeo's done some stupid things in his life, but he's sure this might be the stupidest of them all. He's not sure what drugs he was on when he made the decision to go home to visit his parents, but they had to have been great.
He rides up in the fancy elevator alone, remembering all of the previous times he's done it. Indeed, they're numerous. Being the only Montague child is a blessing and a curse: he's always gotten everything he's ever wanted, but he's never really had parental companionship. Now, however, he's almost positive he doesn't want it.
Using the key his mother made him take up to school with him, Romeo comes into the big apartment. It's been months since he was home, so everything seems a bit bigger and more extravagant, as if he were a child again. The main hall and sitting rooms are both empty, but Romeo happens to stumble upon his mother sitting in her parlor.
"Romeo, baby!" she calls, standing up and bringing her nail polish with her. "Come to visit your parents, have you? Oh, how sweet!"
Romeo hugs her, remembering just in time to tuck his wedding ring down his shirt. He's wearing it on a chain today, so it can remain hidden until the opportune moment. This moment will have to be soon, but he's practically dreading it already. "Yeah, Mama. I'm here for the weekend. Is that okay?"
"Of course. Anthony!" she calls, voice loud and like crystal. "Anthony, your son is here!"
A tall, blonde man enters then, a cigar in one hand. "Romeo, my boy!" He crosses the room, looking down at all of Romeo's luggage. "Did you carry that up here all by yourself? We brought you up better than that. I'll have someone carry it up to your bedroom for you, and then I'll get us some drinks."
"Thanks, Dad," Romeo says, breathing heavily. For some reason he feels like passing out. Maybe it's the fact that he's about to tell his parents he's married to a Capulet, or maybe it's his mother's nail polish mixing with the smoke of his father's cigar that's still in the air even though he's left the room.
"Come, come, baby, take a seat," Mrs. Montague sits on a plush sofa, patting the seat next to her.
Romeo's a bit perturbed by his mother's constant use of 'baby', being reminded of his baby, but he doesn't let it show on his face. "Uhm, thanks."
Mrs. Montague picks up a nail file, working on her left hand. "How's school?"
"Good," Romeo says, looking out the window. "I've met some nice people."
Some Capulets, he wants very badly to say, so much that the first few letters slip out. "Yeah, I guess."
Mrs. Montague puts the nail file down, admiring her freshly manicured nails. "So, how is it living on campus? Is the room big enough? Do you have to share a bathroom? That's disgusting."
Romeo shrugs one shoulder, pretending to take a drink; in reality, his throat's too closed up from fright. "I still have my room, but I'm actually staying off-campus with a girl—" then he takes a deep breath to compose himself, figuring a slap is imminent— "named Juliet."
"Juliet?" Mrs. Montague asks. She takes pride in the fact that she's very well-versed in her affluent families, so this name makes her frown. "Don't the Capulets have a daughter named Juliet?"
Honestly, he hadn't expected her to bring it up-- and certainly not so quickly. His mother has never been the most intelligent of the New York City population, but this did involve being social, which is her one purpose in life. "Yeah, the Capulets do have a Juliet."
She clucks her tongue, picking up the file again. "That's a shame. It's a beautiful name. Couldn't they have picked something more fiting, like Helga or Bathsheba or something?"
Romeo bites his tongue. "I'm living with her," he spits out, immediately biting his tongue again. He hadn't meant to rush into it like this, but it's already happened.
"You're living with her?" Mrs. Montague says, mouth falling open slightly. "Romeo, did you just say you're living with Juliet Capulet?"
His hand traces the outline of the ring, carefully concealed beneath several shirts. "Yeah," Romeo breathes. "And... and actually..." The sentence dies. The look in his mother's blue eyes is terrifying, but Romeo knows he's already knee deep. There's no backing down. He pulls the chain, letting the ring dangle.
Mrs. Montague's mouth snaps shut, so loudly that Romeo can hear her teeth crash into each other. Her fists ball and she shoves them into the leather of the sofa, not meeting her only son's gaze. "Romeo Anthony Montague, what the hell is that?"
He's always known she wasn't going to take it well, but he expected much more than this. He expected screaming and cursing, at the very least. The Capulet and Montague families have hated each other for lifetimes, or so he's always been told. Even though his mother is only a Montague by marriage, Romeo expected so much more than this.
"I'm married to her, Mother," Romeo says, calmly. "Juliet and I went to Vegas and we got married."
"I love her." This is the easiest thing he's said all day, and it lifts a weight off his shoulders. His parents (or his mother, at least) know, and that's all that matters. There's nothing they can do. He can shout it to the entire world, and there's nothing anyone can do. Romeo can be with his Juliet for the rest of his life and no one can do anything. It all makes his mind clearer.
Mr. Montague comes into the room at this time, apparently hearing Romeo's statement. "Oh, my boy found a nice girlfriend?"
"Anthony," Mrs. Montague begins, red-faced, "your son is married."
He laughs, looking at Romeo. "Rushed into something now, have we?" Mr. Montague takes a seat on the chaise across from the two of them, setting a tray of drinks on the coffee table. "Who was your best man? Mark? He's a nice kid."
"Anthony," Mrs. Montague hisses. "You're supposed to be angry." She flicks her gaze to Romeo, and then back to her husband. "Romeo married a Capulet."
Mr. Montague's response is the one Romeo has been expecting: screaming. "A Capulet? Romeo, are you out of your fucking mind? God. I know I shouldn't have sent you away. Elsinore was a prestigous school when I went, but apparently it's gone to shit if you're married to a Capulet."
Romeo's not quite sure what school has to do with Juliet, but he doesn't say anything. "Juliet and I went to Vegas and we got married," he repeats, staring at a hole in his jeans.
"Were you drunk? You were drunk, weren't you, Romeo?" Mr. Montague continues, standing up and nearly knocking over the coffee table. "It's okay. I know a divorce lawyer. We can pull a Britney Spears." He looks at his wife then, knowing she'll understand his reference. "You can get divorced and we can all forget this shit ever happened."
"No." Romeo stands up too, clutching the ring in his hand. "I love her, Dad. I really do. And I'm not getting divorced." He's not sure where the little burst of rebellion has come from, but he's rolling with it.
Mrs. Montague holds a hand over her heart, as if she's about to faint. "Anthony, talk some sense into him."
"Romeo, seriously. This isn't fucking funny." He leans slightly over the table, looking down into his son's eyes. "You can't love her."
"Don't fucking tell me what I can't do," Romeo snaps. "I'm nineteen fucking years old. Maybe, if you'd been there for me my entire life instead of out being... social, this would be different. But you weren't. Who the hell are you to think you can tell me what to do now?"
"I'm your father," Mr. Montague returns, quietly. The anger is more than present in his big blue eyes and he knows full well Romeo can see it.
Romeo scoffs, removing the ring from the chain and putting it on his finger. "Oh, big bad Anthony Montague." He rolls his eyes, looking down at his mother. "Can't you just accept her? She didn't do a thing to either of you!"
Mrs. Montague chimes in, "She was born a Capulet."
"Yeah, and she can really fucking change that!" Romeo spits. Then, realising that he must be inheriting his father's anger, he takes a deep breath and closes his eyes. "Well, now she's not a Capulet anymore. She's a Montague so you have to love her."
Mr. Montague is silent for a long moment. It's a valid point; there isn't a Montague that he doesn't love-- outwardly, at least. "You're right, son," he says, setting his jaw firmly. "She's a Montague now."
Romeo nods tautly. "Right. And if you don't mind, I don't think I'm going to be staying." He isn't sure he was ever going to stay the entire time he'd planned, even if his parents had jumped up and down and thrown a party for his news. But especially not now.
"But Romeo, you've brought enough luggage for the weekend," Mrs. Montague says, nearly whispering. There are tears in her eyes but she's obviously trying very hard to keep them away. She never thought she'd loose her son like this-- to a Capulet.
He says, "Yeah, but I think I'm going to go back home."
"To Juliet," Mr. Montague says sourly, hiding his frown in a long drink of the lemonade he'd brought.
"To Juliet." Then he turns and leaves the sitting room, trying his hardest to not stomp away like the spoiled brat he is.
Romeo's in the process of hauling his luggage out into the main hall when his father intercepts him. "Romeo, your mother is in shambles."
While it does make him slightly upset-- she is his mother, after all-- Romeo doesn't let it show. "I'm sorry."
"Won't you change your mind? At least stay for a few days."
"I'm not changing my damn mind," he says, slinging a bag over his shoulders. "If you can't accept her, I can't stay here."
Mr. Montague sighs, opening the door for him. He knows this is a long lost cause. "What if we do accept her?"
"You say you will, but you won't. You just fucking won't." Romeo looks at him angrily for a brief second, struggling to pull all of his luggage down the hall toward the elevator. "So I'm going home."
"Romeo Anthony, you can't do this to us," Mr. Montague says tersely, breathing heavily through his nose.
He's in the elevator now, luggage piled around him as he pushes the button to go down. "I am, Dad. And I wish I was sorry. But why should I be? You're not."
The doors begin to close, and Mr. Montague puts his hand in to stop them. "Son, she's a Capulet." Briefly, so quickly that Romeo could swear it never happened, the look in his eye turns from anger to sadness. "Please."
"No, she's a Montague," Romeo replies, gently pushing his father's hand out of the way. Just before the doors close, Romeo says, "And maybe, in time, you'll come to accept that."