Title: "Avaritia: A Castle With A Mew"
Fandom: Robin Hood BBC 2006
Rating: PG (Work-safe)
Characters: Sir Guy of Gisborne/Sheriff of Nottingham
Short Summary: No spoilers. No slash. Sorry if you wanted either. Humor fic.
Disclaimer: I don't own Robin Hood, but I do own a dvd and a book or two about the subject.
The horses brayed and kicked their legs in the dark, sandy road that lead to Sherwood Forest. Along the side of the rode the horses waited, at their master's commands, without moving an inch besides their occasional shifting and other things they could not help. The soldiers atop the horses mimicked their transportation; not a single of them moved save a scratch to their nose or a picking at their ear. The morning mist had yet to settle and covered the ground with gray, making everything seem ghostly and somber. It was early winter; one could tell by the outfits that the soldiers wore—not a single piece of flesh showing.
Gisborne's horse let out a snort, dancing in place as it subtly told the rider of his boredom. The noir-clad rider leaned down, patting his mare's mane gentle, whispering sweetly to her. "Steady. We're all anxious to be on our way."
Gisborne was exhausted from a long night's of racking his brain over the Robin Hood dilemma. Only when he'd finally settled down, falling into the Locksley Manor's most comfy bed did he realize he would get no sleep this night. The Sheriff's man was let in by a servant, and then what came next was inevitable.
Sheriff demanded that Gisborne gather his soldiers up. Demanded that they should wait at the edge of Sherwood forest and to halt the first merchant that made their way through. The purpose of this charade? Gisborne knew not.
Finally after a five hours wait the horses began to perk up their ears, neighing lowly as they did their dances once more. Gisborne and his men heard the distinct noise of a horse's hooves and the whistling of some unknown man. Out of the dark morning woods come a poor-looking shopkeeper with an iron-wrought cart. His hat was made of a poorly tanned hide with a sickly looking bird's feather drooping to one side. Gisborne snapped a finger at his guards and they stopped in front of the man, looking very stubborn and impassive as Gisborne approached himself. The man stopped, glancing around with a confused look on his face, "Wha' be the meaning of dis, sirs?"
His teeth were yellowed and stinking as he spoke. Some of the men visibly snarled their lips to the man's appearance. "I ain't done nothin' wrong? I'm a lowl' travalin' vend'a!"
Gisborne kept his distance and curled his mouth into a sadistic smile, "Whatever the matter is, you have a meeting with our Lord Sheriff now. Kindly step down from your cart; men seize the cart…"
The vender-keeper started to put up a resistance, yelling, "Ya' cann'unt do this to me! Sneak-thieves and robbers of the King's crown! I am a—."
Gisborne's sword flashed, the dawn's light flashing on its shine. "I have no orders to bring you back in one piece, so do watch your tone, vender."
The vender only grumbled to this revelation; and Gisborne sheathed his sword once more. Gisborne smiled broadly as his men, lead by himself, headed back to the castle in Nottinghamshire. Upon arriving there, Gisborne ordered his guards to hold the traveler-vender in place as he made his announcement to the Sheriff of Nottingham. Dismounting Gisborne shot the vender a final airy smile before entering the darkness of the castle. He suspected the Sheriff was still in bed, seeing as though it was in the early morning and the Sheriff (despite asking of everyone else to rise early) was a late sleeper. He waited at the door for the guards to announce him to the Sheriff, and entered the room with a lively step. "My lord Sheriff, I have done as you asked: the man is waiting outside and—."
He got no further, the Sheriff approached him swiftly, and gave him a hardy slap on the back. Gisborne, not prepared for such affection from the Sheriff jerked forward for a moment, and stared at the older man. "Well done, Gisborne! Well done! There's nothing I like to hear of more than a job successfully completed. Now if only the same could be done about, oh say, that pesky group of bandits in the King's forest."
Gisborne was stung by that last bit of sarcasm but the Sheriff did not give it a second's thought. "Come now, Gisborne! Let's take us a look'see at this fellow's cart."
As they navigated the corridors to reach the courtyard Sir Guy questioned, "My lord, does this bandit have nothing to do with those rogues at all, then?"
"This fellow? Something to do with Hood, you say?" The Sheriff repeated, but said nothing more as they exited the building and approached the shopkeeper's cart. The Sheriff turned to the vender for a moment, asking, "What have we here? A vender traveling the King's Roads without the permission of the Sheriff of the province? Well, glad you brought him straight away to me, Gisborne!"
Gisborne frown. Thinking to himself, What nonsense is he speaking of this time? One doesn't need permission of the Sheriff to vender out goods unless they are of the dangerous sort. They only need to pay taxes… Yet he said nothing but nodded his head to the Sheriff, agreeing, "Of course, my lord!"
"Wh'a turkey-litter an' rubbish!" The vender cried, straining against the guards' arms as they restrained him, "Eve' if there were such a la'—your men were layin' in wait for whosoeve' crossed they paths!"
"Waiting, you say? What sort of idea is that? Well, we'll let you go easy this time…" Sheriff mused pulling at the end of his beard for a moment, "Men… take the contents of this venders cart and let him leave the castle."
The vender, perhaps unaware of the Sheriff's love for hangings and torture, continued to strain against the guards, yelling and waving his fist, "Y' don't fool me! I kn' 'actly what y'a doin'! Y'a thief in Sheriff' clothin'!"
Sheriff continued to smile, only telling the guards to take the cart's contents to the back. But as the guards went around the backside of the cart, opening the door a strange cry came from the cart. Gisborne had heard it before, but his memory of where failed him. Seeing the guards' uncomfortable look as they attempted to unload the cargo, Gisborne turned to the vender and asked, "You, vender, what is your trade?"
"I sell exotic birds!" Spat the yellow-toothed vender. Out of the cart flapped several peacocks, all male and colorful in every respect.
Gisborne was visibly disappointed, and glanced back to the Sheriff who's only reply was: "Well, I always wanted a castle with a great mew, but this imbecile's prices were horrid."