Authors Notes: I am weirdly proud of this. It's bizarre and fragmented but that's sort of been my thing lately, so . . .

Also, I love this show and I don't even know why.

The song is "Come on, Get Higher" by Matt Nathanson and is very reorganized in this fic. It's an amazing song, I highly recommend

perceiving sound

I.

I miss the sound of your voice,

the loudest thing in my head.

And I ache to remember
all the violent, sweet

perfect words that you said

Everywhere there is blood, staining the sand and his boots and his lips. He can taste it on his tongue; a copper liquid that he isn't even sure is his own. Much's babble barely penetrates the dewy fluid clogging his ears. Much says, "You're almost done."

He hears: You're almost dead.

Something aches, just beneath his chest, something that gnaws and claws and bites so hard he's sure it will dig a whole through his skin. He brings his hands up to his face, studying his dry, cracked knuckles and callused fingers. Dust has long since hardened around his fingernails, creating an almost protective shell.

Much says, "What wouldn't you give for a drink?"

He hears: What wouldn't you give to die?

He's sure that somewhere inside of him is the future Earl of Huntington. He's sure that Robin of Locksley still exists, even if only as a thin veneer over his soul. Pushed aside in lieu of Robin of the King's Guard. Cowering behind his arrows that never miss his eyes that never cry (not anymore). But he believes-- he has to believe-- that given his room and his village and his England, surely he could learn to smile again. Surely he could slip into court life like an old and familiar suit, coating his words in coyness and joviality.

Much says, "Easy there, Master, you're drinking too fast!"

He hears: Easy there, Master, you're dying too fast.

Robin thinks, No, No, Much. Not nearly fast enough.

II.

If I could walk on water
If I could tell you what's next
I
'd make you believe
I'd make you forget

Anger, he'd expected; snobbishness he'd looked forward to; cruelty came as no surprise.

But the hurt; the fear; the unfinished business-- these were things he hadn't been able to bear contemplating. And yet his lack of anticipation did nothing to abate them, did nothing to ebb their flow and dam their crushing waters. He'd forgotten the way she could lookinto him, without meaning to, without realizing it, without understanding that she's the only one who can. He'd forgotten the way that she knew the only words that could heal him, hurt him, save him, kill him.

He can see how deeply he wounded her only in his prison cell, only when she refuses to let him touch her. She has changed, yes; but they changed together and he still knows her, all through her bones and down to her soul. He told her that she saw into him, and she does.

He does not say that he can see her, too, can hear her every thought and understand every action.

He says, "You had something on your cheek."

She hears: I don't know how say I'm sorry.

He blows her a kiss. She hears "I love you" on the wind.

He wishes that he was strong enough to say plainly these things, to lay himself at her feet and let her trample. To whisk them both back over the years, weaving through Sherwood and around the Holy Lands to his bedchamber where he would say, "Marry me," instead of, "I'm leaving."

But these are dreams; Marian deserves dresses and horses and freedom and Robin-- Robin can only offer blood.

III.

I miss:

the sound of your voice

the rush of your skin

the still of your silence--

as you breathe out,

and I breathe in

What he does is, pretend.

He closes his eyes and imagines blood into his ears so that when she speaks there is a murky lake of fluid between them, liquid that dulls her words and breaks them apart until they are but harmless, floating dead skin.

She says, "I despise Robin Hood."

He hears: I'm sorry.

He ignores the blade wedged into his skin, ignores that ache that beats through his veins as naturally as blood. These are things he has grown used to and they bring a certain degree of comfort-- he is unaccustomed to joy and her friendship, and their loss feels somehow inevitable. He is not bred for simplicity, Robin of the King's Guard, and seeks the feel of home in pain.

She says, "I would never marry him."

He hears: I'm sorry.

He grips his sword hilt for stability, anchoring himself against to house to avoid accidental suicide. He can remember days-- was it only five years?-- when he got into tousles and she cleaned his bloody nose without scolding, when having her came easily and naturally, as effortless as breathing. He can remember hiding beneath his stairs, his hand over her lips to stifle the sound of his breathing (at least that's what he told her; but the feel of her mouth on his skin tingled for days). It seems impossible that they should be hear now, speaking through walls and meeting only in darkness.

She says, "I'm sorry."

He hears: What wouldn't you give to die?

IV.

I miss the pull of your heart

I taste the sparks on your tongue

I see angles and devils

And God-- when you come on

hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on

Someone told him once that when you see horror enough you become allergic, or you become addicted.

Lately he has wondered which affliction he suffers from.

It is true; he has lost his taste for battle. But there is horror of a different sort, horror that he clings to with a near desperation because maybe it's the only thing that he knows how to feel anymore. He can't remember how to let happiness wash over him, isn't sure he could offer Marian his love even if she would let him.

The problem is, you see, somewhere between the Holy Lands and Sherwood Forrest he blocked the roads that lead from his heart to the world, and he doesn't know how to open them up again.

Djag stands, stepping away from Marian's stiff body. She says, "Robin, I'm . . . I'm sorry."

He hears: You're almost dead.

She is cold to his touch, and neither his tears nor his lips nor his words can warm her. He clings to her dress, her hands, any part of her that he can reach, soaking in her scent-- still, in death, still she carries the smell of rosewater. He tries to believe she would have met this end even without his presence, that her job as the Nightwatchman led to this moment and not his influence.

But--

He can't.

He says, "I love you-- I love you-- I should I have said-- I love you-- "

And she hears: Nothing.

V.

So come on, get higher

Loosen my life

Faith and desire and

the swing of your hips

Just pull me down hard

and drown me in

love

He says, "I'm glad you're back."

She hears: I love you-- I love you-- I should have said-- I love you--