Author: Cat2000
Summary: After the Hood strikes, Will Scarlet is concerned about his cousin
Rating: T
Notes & Warnings: Mentions of violence
Spoiler up to: Assume spoilers for a lot of the legends of Robin Hood

Author's Note: This is the first in the letters challenge on Spankingworld at Livejournal. The idea is to write a letter from one character to another:

It could be written from a potential spankee to a significant other, or a parental figure, etc. It could even be written by a potential spanker to a person who they think would benefit from a spanking relationship! It can be any type of spanking - discipline, therapeutic, erotic etc. You can even write a reply from the other character if you want!

My dear cousin

I pray this letter finds you well. I have entrusted the delivery to our mutual dear friend, who I know will not betray my confidence or your whereabouts in Sherwood Forest. I anxiously await news of your wellbeing and, I hope, your success in the next of your endeavours. And while she will not give voice to her fears for your safety in my hearing, I know that Marian would also welcome the news of your safety.

Prince John is growing ever more frustrated with the antics of the people's hero. He has imprisoned many of those who dare whisper of the Hood's existence and fined the others far more than they can afford to pay. Even those of us who live in the palace at the prince's discretion are not safe from his wrath, I fear. Every day, I pray for King Richard's safe return, but his is not the only soul I pray for.

In our last meeting, as I am sure you recall, we discussed your next plan to rob the Sheriff's men as they took the route through Sherwood Forest. It was not just me who voiced a concern for your intention to goad the prince and his Sheriff with your latest attack. Your men were also concerned that the retribution would be swift and brutal and that their families would suffer if the Hood acted when tensions were so high. And I understand you didn't want to risk becoming complacent, but you agreed with what we said. You understood our fears, or you allowed us to believe you understood our fears; which is almost worse.

Your actions have had consequences that reach further than any of us could have imagined. The prince's men have taken one child from each of the noble's houses and have put to the sword any who oppose them, at least those who have not been arrested and are awaiting a hanging to serve as an example.

I know word of this will have reached you, but I urge you to be cautious, cousin. Don't let your temper burn as hot as it can. Be angry. I am angry. Your men are angry. But don't be like the prince-and I know this will trigger your temper, but heed my words-don't allow your men to slip loose through your grasp because you hold on too tight. Don't let your guilt become so overpowering, it blinds you to everything else. And I know you feel guilty. I know you as well as I know myself, even if you have made Sherwood Forest your home.

The prince has turned his attention from me, which means I can leave the palace and come to Sherwood. I'm worried about you, Robin. I believe your actions now are only a symptom of what's truly wrong with you, of what has been wrong since your father and older brother left to go to war with the King.

God knows I've never been responsible. Staying in the palace and acting as a spy on the prince and the Sheriff is the best thing I've ever done. I know it helps you to have the information I can glean and it is a help for Marian, too, as she is watched far closer than any other who still supports King Richard. But even so, I have never before considered being responsible for another person. And I have never thought to take on that mantle for you, Robin. But I know you and I know the guilt you carry and I can only hope this letter finds you before you do anything rash.

Here is what I propose, cousin. You are still a man, even though there are whispers of the Hood being a ghost, or a demon, or even one of the fey. You cannot lose sight of your humanity, because that is what allows you to fight back against the prince and his men. When I leave and come to Sherwood, you will come to meet me and we will find one of the deserted areas in Sherwood, or at least one of those devoid of man.

When we are alone and there is no chance of us being disturbed, cousin, I will remove my weapons belt and you will bend over-perhaps a tree stump, perhaps against a trunk. And you will submit to the punishment I will give you, which will be my belt across the seat of your breeches. As many times as I feel it necessary to help you feel punished and to stop the guilt overwhelming you and preventing you from doing what is needed.

I didn't consider the need for myself to be responsible for another, but every time I see you now, there is no doubt in my mind of what you need. And everyone else fears or respects the Hood too much to give the man what he needs.

I do not need a written response from you, cousin. But if you are in agreement with me, meet me in Sherwood and prepare for a humbling punishment that will ultimately be your salvation.

No matter what the coming days may bring, my affection and respect for you will always be great.

Your cousin, Will Scarlet