Author's Note: This is based on the BBC version of Robin Hood- it takes places after episode 5 (i believe that's it- after the one with the mine operation).
Disclaimer: Nope, still not mine.
Other Note: Please read and review!
It was a normal day, a beautiful day, a calm day- Robin's favorite kind of day. There was no current crisis, no specific problems, no pressing dilemmas to interrupt the nothingness of the day. While he supposed too many of these could lead to boredom and obesity, for now it was a well earned break from the stress of being an outlaw. It was a carefree, clear day and, looking around at his band of outlaws, Robin knew it was a well earned day of rest.
Well, not quite all rest- it had been decided that it was time to move camp. It was always safer to not be in the precise same spot for too long. It was their second move since the mine operation, which was about a week and a half ago. However, the pace was not forced, it wasn't even considered purposeful. It was slow, casual and in no particular direction other than the following of the brook (which had so many forks and splinters you could really walk anywhere and still be nearby). Mock fights had ensued, short-lived races to the "next tree" had been run, leaves had been thrown at other's faces, and of course, Much had been made fun of. Even Will had cracked a smile. It was a happy, simple day.
"I just went in for water- honest," Robin tried to explain over Much's retelling of the girl on the way to Locksley.
"Of course you did, Master," Much said dismissively, patting his lord on the arm. "And anyway- there I am trying to distract this man so he wouldn't turn around and see Robin completely-"
There was a kind of moan from behind the walking outlaws and Robin turned just in time to see Allan, who had fallen behind, collapse. While the others were still slightly shocked by the sudden turn of events, Djaq, resident doctor, had already rushed to the unconscious man's side. Robin snapped out of it quickly and began issuing orders,
"Will- find the nearest clearing by the brook. Much- go set up a bed quickly and start boiling some water. John- you're gonna need to carry him," the men were already off to their jobs before Robin stopped speaking. The young leader of the crew knelt by the resident trickster and look up at Djaq. She shook her head.
"I don't know what's wrong," she said. "I'll look him over at camp." She nodded to John and he scooped up the other man as if he were a child. This caused another moan from Allan but John strode off with him quickly. Pausing, Robin grabbed the bag Allan had been carrying and arrived at the quickly made camp to see that Allan had already been laid down. Djaq quickly began to feel the man's forehead and cautiously press his stomach.
"He's got a fever- it's very high," Djaq said, not looking up from the outlaw in front of her. "But his stomach feels fine- I don't know why." Much had gone fairly white, as he always did when his worrying erupted into a full fledged panic.
"Surely there must be some clear reason for this!" the former servant exclaimed, stirring the water over the fire rapidly as if that could somehow make it boil faster. "I mean- people don't just drop… like that. There has to be a reason! It doesn't make any sense! Maybe-"
"Much," Robin said firmly, knowing this was the only way to stop his rambling friend. "Let her think!"
"Right," Much said. "Thinking. Always good. Excellent idea." Robin gave Much another glare and the man snapped his mouth shut.
"Well, I don't know why- but we should take off his shirt," Djaq said. "We've got to cool him down. Robin- come help me."
Robin obediently walked over and the two started to struggle Allan out of his shirts. This made the man groan even louder and Robin leaned up to talk to him urgently.
"Allan- it's Robin," he said and was rewarded with Allan's eyes fluttering open for a second. "We're just taking your shirt off- you've got a fever."
"Sorry," Allan mumbled. "Sorry, Robin."
"Relax, Allan- you haven't done anything." Robin said, but the man had already slipped back into unconsciousness. He looked at Djaq helplessly and she merely shrugged. Robin frowned and worked harder at getting all Allan's shirt off. Finally they got to the last layer- a thin white shirt- and Robin gingerly pulled it off and handed it to Will who had been making a neat pile behind them. He moved to put a hand on the man's shoulder when he noticed something.
Blood. There was a trace of it in a line across his palm- he stared, about to say something to Djaq when Will's horrified gasp alerted her first. Robin spun at the same time as Djaq to have his fears confirmed. Will was holding Allan's white shirt- but the back of it wasn't white at all- it was red with blood. What appeared to have started as thin red lines had seeped all over the cloth.
"What- what's that," Much asked, his eyes darting between the shirt and Robin. Robin didn't answer; instead he looked at Djaq's wide eyes. Saying nothing- she nodded. Robin carefully, slowly, almost reluctantly rolled Allan over.
"Bloody-" John's word of utter amazement was one was to describe the sight before them. Robin stared, horrified, as he gazed at his friend's back. It was covered, crossing at all angles, in thick (they looked thicker now that they were on flesh) ugly whip marks. While some were half healed- the others, the deepest were oozing blood and the dried blood that also covered his back proved that they had been doing this for some time.
"He's been horsewhipped," Will breathed, breaking the stunned silence.
"By who?" Much asked. "When!?" Robin's mind was already racing backwards, trying to recall a time when Allan could have been whipped without him knowing. Things had been fairly quiet the last few days. There was no time that he could recall when- Realization hit him like a rock.
"It must've been during the undercover mission," Djaq said, voicing Robin's very thoughts. Hurriedly, he turned to her, needing conformation that his plan hadn't led to this.
"But he was with you the whole time!" he asked. "I mean- you didn't see this happen!"
"No, I didn't," Djaq agreed and for a second Robin felt relief start to wash over him. "But he wasn't with me the whole time- he did get called away once."
Robin didn't answer- no one said anything. Djaq looked at Allan and recounted her story in a flat tone.
"At one point, a guard came down and called Allan to come over- he called him 'Deserter' I remember- that was the excuse Allan gave to being a slave. Of course, Allan had no choice but to go- to not would be to jeopardize the mission- the signal hadn't been given yet for him to fake dying. He was gone for a long time- I remember worrying that somehow he had talked his way out of the mission, that he had betrayed us. But then he was back- pale and looking awful. But I thought he was just playing his part because shortly after the signal was given and he faked his death. It must've happened then."
"You didn't tell us this!" Robin said angrily, finding a release for his anger.
"After John fell and you went to save Marion- I forgot!" Djaq said, finally turning from Allan to glare at Robin. He deflated before her eyes, looking sick and worried again. She added more quietly, "I figured if anything had happened he would've said something."
There was only more silence.
"These are badly infected now," Djaq said. Robin sucked in a breath and Much turned whiter if that was possible. Djaq grabbed a rag and dipped it in the hot water. Gently, she began to rub away the dried blood, not yet touching the actual wounds.
"Why didn't he say something?" Will finally asked. His eyes darted from member to member begging for the answer. Robin could only shake his head.
"I don't know."
End Chapter 1
Author's Note: Thyank you for reading! Please review!!