OK…so this is my first Robin Hood fic…I've written a bunch for Bones and wanted to branch out. Robin Hood is the best show…after Bones of course but it runs a reeeeally close second. Jonas Armstrong immediately follows David Boreanaz on my list of Completely Irrational Guys to Be in Love With, But I Am Anyway. And I think Lucy Griffiths is the greatest Marian EVER. Spoilers for Parent Hood
Always Different Directions
I should feel odd holding a baby…shouldn't I? But I do not. And what's more, he seems to like me. He is asleep now.
Much, John, and Allan are going over the plan to rescue Roy again. I do not need to hear it. I know what to do. So I am looking at the baby.
He is small. I have never held a baby before and did not realize they would be so small.
The thought of children of my own has never really crossed my mind. Five years fighting in a war leaves little room for thoughts of that sort. Children…marriage…it all seems so far away.
If I had stayed I would probably be married now…
Roy is back. He escaped and he found out who the baby's mother is. And his name. Seth. He even knows where the child is from.
Roy, Seth and I are leaving for Knighton.
Well…we seem to have been sidetracked. And I cannot say I am too upset by it. Marian was trying to get into Clun to feed the people. I was only too happy to play rescuer. Not that she needs it. Marian was always able to look after herself.
"And what was your plan? To sweet talk the guards? Tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk. Bad idea."
"Oh, and you have a better one?"
I can only smile at her.
We put the food on the arrows and fire it over the wall into the city. Marian stands behind us holding Seth. I can sense her disapproval from here.
"That is a waste of arrows."
"You could simply throw the food."
"We could, but where would be the fun in that?"
I have been shot. By an arrow. I can hardly believe it. We have to run.
"Robin, let me help you."
"No. Feeding the poor is foolish but understandable. Helping me is a hanging offence. Give me the baby. This is no sport for a woman."
"More than it is for a child?"
I took Seth and we rode into the forest, Roy riding the other way. He did not listen to me. I should be angry but I am not.
Then Marian turned up. I should have been angry with her as well but just the sight of her, despite the hole in my arm, makes me want to smile.
We take refuge in the village and Marian is insisting on doctoring me herself. I hardly mind. I honestly cannot help looking at her. I meant what I said to her that day after I came home. She is still beautiful. I cannot understand how she's not married.
"This needle is thick and blunt. Are you prepared?"
"As is the way you sell it."
"You'll need to take off your shirt."
I see her looking at the scar on my side and find myself explaining it before she asks.
"Saracen attack on the King. Caught us unawares. To this day I do not know how."
"This is why you returned?"
"The stitching became infected, I took a fever. And when I awoke, the King had gone south and left orders for me to return to fully recover."
"So, you return and take instantly to the woods?"
I feel a sharp sting in my arm.
"It must be cleaned or you will take another fever."
I think she is taking some small pleasure in my pain. Finally, I cannot stop myself from asking what I have wanted to ask since I saw her at her father's house when I returned.
"So…you never told me. When I was in the Holy Land, you must have had suitors."
The needle pierces my skin as she starts to sew.
"I must have."
"Well, it is surprising you are not married."
"It is. And yet when one considers marriage requires a man, perhaps not. A word of advice: your charms, such as they are, ceased working on me at least five years ago."
She did that on purpose…
"Good. Just tying off."
She finishes sewing and I'm just watching her. I don not even think about the next words that leave my mouth.
"Kiss it better? Ow!"
The woman whose home we're in returns with milk for Seth and cheese. She thinks the child is mine and Marian's…
"This is not our child."
I look at her when she says that and feel another pain. Only this one is deep within my soul.
I return from talking to my men to see Marian holding the child. For a moment the thought crosses my mind of Marian holding another child…one with her eyes and my smile.
"Can you take the baby?"
"His mother lives in Knighton."
"What, because I am a woman?"
"Because I have to go, my men are here."
"The call of the wild."
She is such an infuriating woman. She feels the need to attack everything I say.
"Marian. Why is it everything you say to me sounds like a criticism?"
"I do not know. I suppose these are the lives we have chosen. Always different directions."
But I don't want to be going in different directions, Marian.
"And yours is the better direction?"
"I work within the system. It is the only way."
"Not at night. You dress up as… who is it, the Night Watchman?"
"I do not taunt the Sheriff. I do not publicly flout his decisions."
"OK, so, today at Clun?"
"That was different. It was an emergency."
She is so impassioned right now. The fire in her eyes reminds me of the Marian I used to know when we were young and ran wild with no one to check our behavior. I miss that.
"And you were wonderful. You were bold, and I wish there were more emergencies."
"Is it all a big joke to you?"
Of course not, Marian…I have meant every word I ever said to you. Not that I can tell you that.
"Is it all so serious to you?"
"Well, forgive me for being careful but, so far, nobody has had their tongue cut out because of me! Take your baby."
She is so infuriating!
We stand gathered around the fire. Seth in his mother's arms standing beside Roy's mother. This is the first man I've lost and I haven't felt pain like this since I was in the Holy Land.
He fell proclaiming loyalty to me. What if Marian is right? What if all I am doing is leading good, innocent men to their deaths?
I can hear the horses and cart coming to take Annie and Seth somewhere safe. Marian will be with it.
I turn to see her on her horse behind the cart and I start.
Her eyes darken but her words are spoken in an offhanded way.
"It was a nuisance to wash."
As Annie and Seth ride away I look to Marian once more. Even with her shorter hair she is still the most beautiful woman I have ever seen.
"I am going…this way."
She points behind her and I wish she wasn't.
I don't even finish, I just gesture deeper into the forest. She smiles but it does not reach her eyes.
"Always different directions."
A/N: Well that's it…hope you like it! If I get good reviews then I'll write more for this show.