Fandom: Robin of Sherwood
Note: Chronologically, this takes place before 'Picking up the Pieces'. Robert's POV. Dialogue in this story has been lifted from third season episodes.
by SigrinaI knew he was at the tavern. Despite what Amos Scathelock said, I knew he was nearby. I could almost *feel* him. The knowledge hummed through my blood, making it sing. It was almost, but not quite, the same feeling I'd had when I'd seen Marion of Leaford at my father's castle. But this was sharp and raw and enrapturing.
And, as we fought, only the pain of Will's punches stopped me from laughing out loud. I'd never felt so alive, so aroused, in my life. And the desire to turn this knockdown fight into foreplay was almost overwhelming. But the scattered fragments of memories, urges, lusts, did not belong to me. And I angrily pushed aside the ghost of that stranger-brother-self.
I was Robert.
Herne's Son, I may be, but I was Robert. Those feelings were nothing to do with me. And I needed this half drunk swearing, sweating bull of a man to help me rescue the Lady Marion, that's all.
So why did it hurt so much when he disparaged me, gibed at my parentage? And it hurt even more when he belittled the rest of them, himself included, even though there was more than a grain of truth in his statements. I opened my mouth to taunt him, to try to rekindle the flame I knew still seethed inside him.
But before I could say anything the sneer dropped from his features and was replaced by a wistful expression. His voice was low and dispirited.
'We was as fast as wolves in Sherwood. They couldn't touch us. We could do anything, take on anyone. We've lost it.'
'No, Scarlet. Nothing's forgotten. Nothing's ever forgotten.'
The words came from my throat, but they weren't mine. And he knew it. His eyes were full of pain, disbelief and hope.
'What did you say?' he whispered.
'You heard me.' I managed to appear cool. As if ghosts speak with my voice every day.
I watched as he shook his head.
'No,' he said, 'it wasn't you I heard.'
'Does it matter, Will?' I asked.
And just like that, he was with us. Not because I'd persuaded him, not because he had any faith in me, but because of a few words from a dead man. Oh, I know he had no reason to trust me, but that hurt. Illogically, perversely, I wanted his trust. But I'd said it myself, it really didn't matter at the moment. Later. I'd deal with it later.
He was like a cornered, wounded animal.
I'm a leper, see? A leper!'
Will, don't do this. Where's the courage I know you have? You're my strength, Will. Marion's my High Priestess, the brave and true consort of Herne's Son, whether she admits it or not. But you're my Shield, my strength.
'I thought you were a man.'
It was no good. I could see it in his eyes. Clean death he could face any day, but not this.
Tuck mentioned the Cross of Ciricus. We were grasping at straws, but even faint hope was better than none at all.
'Would you have given him the cross?'
Will, you stupid, hot-headed idiot. He's my brother. And your words were truer than I hope you'll ever know. If I'd killed him I would have killed a part of myself and damned my soul for eternity. But you were so close to death. Do you have any idea how I felt? Gisburne could have killed you so easily.
Yes, I would have given him the cross. I'd have given him anything to save you.
'If I had to.'
'To save me?'
Oh, Will, now is not the time. I'm not ready for this. Too much has happened all at once. Let me sort things out with Marion first. I can't deal with this now, not with everything else that’s going on.
'To save anyone.'
Is that disappointment I can hear in his voice? I crush the reassurances that try to spring to my lips.
'Yes.' I turn to untie him. 'Anyone.'
I can't stop watching him.
Marion has agreed to marry me, not that we've told anyone else yet. But I can't stop watching Will.
And he knows it. Whatever it is he sees in my eyes, it's making him a nervous wreck. He's fighting this as much as I am. He jumps when I get too near him. Flinches if he thinks I might touch him.
This is ridiculous. I'm in love with Marion. I'm going to marry Marion. These feelings are just echoes from a dead man. Maybe he could love Marion and fuck Will all the while, but I'm not him. I couldn't do that to either of them.
I kiss Marion in front of everyone.
'...tonight Tuck will marry us in Wickham.'
Tuck babbles on for a while. I try not to look at Will.
Are you really getting wed?' John appears stunned.
'He said so, didn't he?' And am I the only one who hears that odd note in Will's voice?
It's better this way. I love Marion. I need Marion. She's safe. I can love her, be Herne's Son, and still be me. I'm not him. He was stronger than me. I could lose myself in you, Will. Part of me wants to lose myself in you. It would be so easy...
Marion and I will wed tonight. And I'll be faithful to her. Eventually, I'll convince myself she's all I want, all I've ever wanted or needed.
It's better this way.