Breaking Down

Disclaimer: I don't own anything from the legends of Robin Hood and I'm not making any money from this fic

Summary: Robin knows how difficult his cousin finds it to pretend to be Prince John's confidant. He has a way for his cousin to relieve the stress. Written for the friend or partner square in the Advent Holiday Bingo blackout

Warning(s): Spanking; spoilers for most of the story of Robin Hood; some references to violence

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This was a dangerous game he was playing. To be honest, it was a dangerous game both of them were playing. Robin sat on the windowseat of his cousin's room, watching Will sleep. Blond hair lay in an untidy mess of curls and as Robin watched, the lithe form of his cousin began to twist and writhe, body tensing and face crumpling.

On quick, silent feet, Robin darted forward, placing his hand over Will's mouth as his cousin woke. Wide brown eyes met his and the other man swallowed, then gave him an assertive nod.

Robin pulled his hand away. "Friar Tuck gave me your letter."

"Ah." The hint of a blush stained Will's cheeks. "I was...not thinking particularly clearly when I wrote that. I apologise for drawing you from the forest and from your men."

"You suffer from nightmares. I can see you are not sleeping well." Robin's eyes raked over Will's body, taking in the thin, almost boneless face and the dark circles under his eyes that stained his pale cheeks. "You must think me a thoughtless fool not to have noticed how much you suffer."

Will's age matched his own, but as his cousin looked up at him, it seemed to Robin that the other man looked more and more like a child, albeit a child weighed heavily down by a task that was far from easy. "You have so much on your shoulders already," Will whispered. "I should not be a burden added to that."

Robin settled on the bed. After so long spent sleeping on the ground, the soft sheets were almost too much to bear. His whole body felt like it was sinking. Ignoring the discomfort, he smoothed down one of Will's curls. "You don't have to stay here. Come to the forest with me."

"But then who would be your eyes and ears here within the castle?" Will whispered.

Robin didn't want to admit that Will had a point. He continued to gently stroke his cousin's hair and Will closed his eyes, leaning into the touch.

As far as Robin could tell, they were the only ones awake at this time. He hadn't sent a message to Marian to expect him, as he'd chosen to focus entirely on Will at this point. He adjusted his position on the bed and then reached out, wrapping his hand around his cousin's wrist and tugging Will across his lap.

A soft whimper was the only reaction his cousin gave as Robin settled him more comfortably. He could feel the weakness in the slim body across his lap and carefully rubbed his cousin's back, trying to soothe the tension he could feel there.

When Robin moved his hand lower down and began to stroke and then to pat Will's bottom, his cousin let out another whimper and then relaxed fully over his knees. With each gentle pat, Robin could feel the tension bleeding from Will's body. The nightshirt was between his palm and his cousin's bottom, but the material was thin enough that Robin knew his cousin could feel the pats.

Robin began to pat a little bit firmer and Will shifted slightly over his lap, letting out a soft sigh. Neither of them spoke, but Robin felt his cousin wriggle when he raised the nightshirt, exposing Will's bare backside.

So far, the swats hadn't been that hard, more like firm pats. Robin wrapped an arm around his cousin's waist and then lifted his other hand, bringing it down in a harder smack that echoed through the room.

Will winced and buried his head in his arms, his voice muffled as he said, "If any of the soldiers come past the room and hear, they'll get suspicious."

"Will they?" Robin landed another harder smack, watching the skin flush to pink. "I know the reputation you've carefully cultivated. I don't imagine they will see anything strange or untoward in what they hear, if anything." He delivered another few smacks, hard, and then paused to rub Will's bottom.

Will wriggled and then whimpered, "Please stop, Robin."

Robin chose not to answer that. He knew his cousin needed a push to release the tension and to be able to sleep properly. The letter had made it clear how close to breaking point Will clearly was. He delivered several hard smacks to Will's bottom, then shifted his cousin forward slightly to expose his sit spots and began to swat there.

Letting out a tiny hiss, Will threw his hand back to cover his bottom. "That's enough, Robin!"

Robin took hold of his cousin's hand, moving it out of the way and holding it against his back. "Not yet." He resumed the smacking, swatting from left to right, Will's bottom beginning to take on a rosy colour the longer he smacked.

Will began to jerk his legs, letting out a tiny whine. "This isn't necessary!"

"I know how hard this is for you, cousin." Robin spoke steadily as his hand continued to smack, feeling the skin warm up as he swatted. "You are suffering from nightmares. I sat in your window and watched you as you slept badly and troubled. I can see you haven't been eating. Perhaps I cannot drag you to the forest with me. Perhaps you really are needed here." He began to smack harder, following each movement as Will tried to wriggle his bottom out of the way. "But for as long as I am alive, I will not let you neglect yourself to do this."

"P-promise?" Will's voice was strained.

"I promise." Robin delivered several hard smacks to his right cheek and then repeated the pattern on Will's left. "You are my cousin, Will. More than that, you are my friend. I won't let you continue to suffer. And each time you struggle, I will return and I will do exactly this."

Will let out a soft cry and then slumped forward over Robin's lap, beginning to sob quietly but brokenly.

Robin delivered two more swats, one to each warm, rosy cheek, and then pulled his cousin's nightshirt back down. He pulled Will into his arms and hugged his cousin close.

Will sniffled and pressed tight against him. "I always sleep better after you spank me," he whispered, a trace of humour lighting his words. "Will you stay until I do?"

Robin tightened his embrace. "Always," he promised.

The End