I originally sent this to the wonderful fangjy on tumblr as an anonymous ask box fic last year. You can find the original posts here: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8

"Benedick, is that you?" Beatrice calls through the apartment as she hears the door close with a thud.

"Why, who else were you expecting?" Benedick calls back, sounding much wearier than he intended.

"Are you alright, you sound awfu-" she cuts herself off as she appears round the corner carrying a half-drunk glass of orange juice and spots him, a look of horror creeping across her face. "Oh my word, what happened?! Are you alright?!"

"Beatrice, I'm fine, really, it's just a few brusies-" he winces internally at how weak that sounds, even as Beatrice cuts him off.

"-Benedick you're still bleeding! Here, hold still I'll go get the medical stuff!" she cries, already rushing off in the direction of the bathroom.

"Beatrice there's really no need-"

"-Go si' down!"

Ten minutes later, Beatrice was kneeling in front of Benedick as he was laid on the sofa, propped up against one of the arm rests, gently wiping the now-dried blood away from where it had run down onto his neck.

"What happened?" She asked in a quiet voice.

"It was nothing."

She paused a moment to raise a disbelieving eyebrow at him.

"Clearly it wasn't nothing, Benedick, you're not like that; you don't get into fights just for the sake of it."

Silence.

She wiped her hands before she dropped the wipe into the bin by her side, finally finished.

"You can tell me, you know." She said slightly uncharacteristically softly, only half expecting a reply.

"I overheard Conrade and Borachio spreading rumours about you behind the Tech Block."

"What?! What were they saying?" She sat back in surprise.

"I don't think you want to know." He said with an almost remorseful smile.

"Wait, you mean, you picked a fight with them because they were calling me names? Benedick, you hypocrite, you do that all the time!"

"Yeah but I'm allowed." Beatrice was slightly relived to see a teasing sparkle return to his eyes.

"Says who?!" She returns indignantly.

"Aw, come on, you wouldn't want me to stop would you?"

"Hm." She ducks her head again, refusing to answer.

"But still," She continues, ignoring the eyebrow Benedick raised that implied he had been expecting her to do so, "Benedick, you took on the two toughest blokes on campus because of me? Why?" she allows her bewilderment to creep into her tone.

"Isn't it obvious?"

A moment passes in silence as they stare into each other's eyes, both allowing their emotions to be clearly visible for once.

Painfully slowly they both start to lean in, until Beatrice's are eyelashes fluttering against Benedick's cheeks.

And then they're kissing, and her hands are reaching up to slide into his hair, while his are snaking around her waist, pulling her up to perch on the couch beside where he's propped up against the arm rest.

"Benedick?" She whispers in an awed tone when they come up for breath.

"Mm?" He hums, still staring at her lips.

"Promise me you won't pick a fight on my behalf again?"

"Why not?" He pulls back just enough to meet her eyes, a slightly frown creasing his forehead.

"I can look after myself." She tells him with a rueful smile. "And I don't want you to get hurt." She admits in a small voice, ducking her head slightly.

"Beatrice." He waits until she meets his eyes again. "I'm not going to stand there and listen to them say that sort of stuff about you. But," he continues before she can pull away, "if it makes you happy, I will try not to get hurt next time."

She leans back in to meet his lips in response.